Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Healthy Food Still the Best Solution

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Healthy Food Still the Best Solution

Article excerpt

THE LETTER (NS 29/01) suggesting that indigenous Australians would still be eating witchetty grubs if it were not for the colonisation by white people, though seemingly intended to be derogatory, is actually an incisive and relevant comment warranting further debate.

I believe that if Aboriginal people were still eating bush tucker, including witchetty grubs, many of them may well be happier, but I have no doubt they would be much more healthy than they are now.

So this letter raises the question of what benefits white colonisation has bestowed upon indigenous Australians.

The most obvious is that it has introduced them to the addictive drugs alcohol, tobacco and cannabis. The resultant alcoholism now pervading many Aboriginal communities has resulted in crime, violence, breakdown of family units and early death.

Due to clever, albeit dishonest, promotion tobacco addiction has ensnared indigenous populations of many Third World countries, Australia and the Pacific Islands, ensuring early death from lung cancer and vascular disease, not to mention low birth weights in children and the increased risk of perinatal mortality.

Generations of cannabis users, along with other practices derived from white civilisation, like petrol and glue sniffing, have created a black world of aimless, lost young people who, seeing no future for themselves in a white world, quit school early, lose respect for their culture, their family and their elders, and resort to crime or self harm. Then we get to the serious problems!

When indigenous Australians were eating witchetty grubs, as Jean Tickle so delicately describes, they were skilled hunters, gatherers and survivors.

Old photos reveal that they were athletic, lean, healthy and proud. They lived on kangaroo, wallaby and echidna, or fish, crabs and molluscs. …

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