“No, no, no sickness really, only clean one. Because they lived on wild honey and meat. They have been living on bush tucker. Nothing. No tea, no sugar, no ice-cream or lollies, nothing. Only been living on bush honey, bush tomatoes, bush raisins, edible seeds and grass seeds. Any kind of seeds. They lived on yams. No sickness. Nothing, all good. Nothing, they were good living in them days. They only got sick from a cold. Only catching a cold, that’s all. No more. No sickness, nothing. Because they living on different food. Yeah, different food bush tucker”.
Joe, Ali Curung elder, NT, from Message Stick, series 12, episode 11: The Artists of Ali Curung, ABC iview, April, 2010.
“According to the archaeological evidence, [early] farmers were more likely than hunter-gatherers to suffer from dental-enamel hypoplasia – a characteristic horizontal striping of the teeth that indicates nutritional stress. Farming results in a less varied and less balanced diet than hunting and gathering does… Farmers were also more susceptible to infectious diseases such as leprosy, tuberculosis and malaria as a result of their settled lifestyles… Dental remains show that farmers suffered from tooth decay, unheard of in hunter-gatherers, because the carbohydrates in the farmers’ cereal-heavy diets were reduced to sugars by enzymes in their saliva as they chewed. Life expectancy…also fell… The settled farmers are invariably less healthy than their free-roaming neighbours. Farmers had to work much longer and harder to produce a less varied and less nutritious diet, and they were far more prone to disease”.
Tom Standage, An Edible History of Humanity, Atlantic Books, 2009.
“We want to bring together in this work current ecological philosophies and permaculture activisms, and show the corresponding ties with pre- or less mediated societies – societies who have possessed a land-based intelligence devoid of anxiety, self-harm, material entitlement, depression, food disorders, self-loathing, alienation, hypochondria, mood disorders, cancer, tooth decay, mental illness, diabetes, organised violence, memory loss (or blindness to violence), division of labour and subsequent ecological estrangement”.
The Artist as Family, more notes on the Food Forest, April, 2010.