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Can A Change Of Diet From Traditional (Indigenous) To Western Have Any Discernable Effect On One’s Health And Welfare?

1667 words - 7 pages

Introduction
The Noonuccal and Goenpul tribes of the Quandamooka people are the traditional owners of Minjerribah, known as North Stradbroke Island (NSI) (Redland City Council [RCC], 2010b, para. 1-2). A description of Minjerribah‘s, location, climate, flora and fauna is followed by a dietary profile for a traditional diet and a typical western diet. The health of Indigenous societies as hunter-gatherers and the correlations between diet and disease for Australian Aboriginals is discussed. Concluding with how changing from a traditional indigenous diet to a western diet can have a discernible effect on one‘s health and welfare.
Geographical boundaries, climate, fauna, flora and how they ...view middle of the document...

The Noonuccal and Goenpul people hold traditional knowledge of signs predicting the coming of seasonal hunting and harvesting times; important for survival (Dale Ruska in Peacock, 1951, p. 21). Surrounded by water, fish and seafood were plentiful and the main source of food (Peacock, 1951, p.20). In comparison plant food was dominant for the Ngaatjatjarra people of Western Australia (Smith & Smith, 2003).
Men were responsible for fishing and hunting. Hunting provided mammals (bandicoot, bats, echidna, kangaroo, koala, possum, rodents), eels, reptiles (snakes, goanna) and birds (swan, duck, parrot, mutton bird) (Morell & Elig, 2000, para. 2-6). Sea foods were always available including mullet, tailor and flathead, crab, prawns, quampie, pipie [eugarie], oysters and hairy mussels, and turtle. Dugong (Figure D3) was a particular favourite and valued for its fat (Peacock, 1951, pp. 20, 59; Knight et al., 2010, para. 8). Women gathered plants and animals. Bungwall rhizome was the main vegetable staple, creek lily, bulrush and swamp yam also favoured staples. Various roots, bulbs, wild fruits (pandanus, pigfaces, midyim berries [Figure D4]), rhizomes (ginger, Figure D5), nuts, honey, seeds (wattle, spinifex) were foraged. Reptile and bird eggs, shellfish including yabbies (Figure D6), tortoise, frogs, skinks, small animals and insects were collected as well as xyleutes moth larvae (witchety grubs) found in wattles and considered delicious (Cribb & Cribb, 1976, pp. 133, 211, 220; Knight et al., 2010, para. 8; Low, 1991, pp. 30-58; Morell & Elig, 2000, para. 10-11; Pearn, 1993, p. 6). Bunya nuts were valued (Figure D7). Tribes gathered together for bunya nut feasts during the harvesting season (tri-annually) to harvest and trade. (Brand-Miller, & Holt, 1998, p. 15; Peacock, 1951, p. 21).
Seven day food intake comparison: Noonuccal and Goenpul people versus western diet.
Traditionally, one main-meal was consumed late each day. During the day snacks such as fruits, bulbs, honey, gums and insects were eaten. Fish, shellfish, kangaroo liver or other animals would also be cooked or eaten raw throughout the day (O’Dea, 1991, p. 235). The traditional diet (Table E1) is based on foods hunted, fished and gathered. Dolphins were known to drive mullet to shore and to waiting nets from around November (Peacock, 1951, p. 209). Wild animals are always lean, therefore, fat is valued, depot fat and organ meats were particularly important; all parts were eaten. Witchety grubs and some marine mammals (dugong) also have high fat. Bungwall rhizomes were roasted or dried and like seeds and nuts were ground and made into johnny cakes (damper) or paste (National Health and Medical Research Council [NHMRC], 2000, p. 35-36; O’Dea, 1991, pp. 233, 236; Peacock, 1951, pp. 41, 209). Macronutrients are based on animal/fish fat content of 10% (Figure 8) adapted from Cordain et al. (2000, p.686). Estimatations of 30% hunted animal, 35% fished, 35% plant in Figure G9. With further...

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