Aboriginal communities need to become as serious about refined so-called “foods” as they are about substance abuse, and should realise that refined and junk “food” consumption is actually another form of substance abuse, and is often an addition. A movement from junk “food” in Aboriginal community stores, to healthy equivalents, should be seriously contemplated. It has recently been announced that:
“Soft drinks, heavily sugared drinks, lollies and fatty fast foods are to be banned on Anangu Pitjantjantjara lands in Central Australia…other remote indigenous communities throughout northern Australia are expected to follow suit” (NT News, 20/04/02).
Growing Own Food
CDEP, being a labour intensive scheme, can lend itself very well to an organic gardening program. Sustainable agriculture systems including Permaculture can be taught to show how to get the greatest result out of minimal effort, water and land inputs, whilst at the same time improving the quality of the soil, producing health-promoting food, and requiring minimal maintenance. This could also be one of the best ways for a community to move towards greater sustainability, and it would help many displaced Aboriginal people to reconnect with the land in a creative and constructive way.
Given adequate supplies of water, Aboriginal communities can explore growing their own food using drip-watering systems to minimise water usage. Grey washing water can also be utilised, as dissolved soaps and phosphates contain many nutrients that turn into nourishing plant food. If hygiene matters are a concern, grey water may be fed under the ground for orchards and lawn, and kept away from root crops.
All human biological waste should be composted, first by bacteria, and then by plants. Under no circumstances should any human waste be allowed to remain uncomposted.
The major concerns about human waste today are:
- prescribed toxic medicines;
- chemicals entering the body, though a processed diet;
- contagious and infectious diseases, which pass into the waste.
In desert regions, consideration could be given to using processed and composted sewerage for the growing of non-orchard trees, providing it is applied beneath the surface. This will help keep groundwater clean and free from intruding bacteria.
Bush Tucker and Medicines
The knowledge of bush tucker and bush medicine could be resurrected where it has receded. This can form the basis of an appreciation of the benefits of all natural foods and medicines. Courses on natural foods for nutrition and medicine need to be taught. Such a course would need to be designed by practitioners of natural medicine, as hospital nutritionists have very little understanding of the real issues involved in nutrition, and do not know how to treat the body through food. People need to know far more than the five food types, in order to take charge of their health.
Learning Natural Modalities
Courses on taking charge of ones own health can be taught. This could include herbs and other forms of natural medicine, including homeopathy, and Cell salts and Bach flower remedies and bush flower essences. Homeopathy is widely practiced throughout Europe and has been used by the royal family for decades, so there is no reason why we should regard such modalities as weird or dismiss them as mere placebos, especially when chemical medicine has such a poor healing record and so many side effects.
Healing “Incurable” Diseases
Anytime that a particular illness is regarded as incurable, alternative, natural-based modalities should be explored, beginning with a proper, healthy diet attuned to address the illness. Keep in mind that natural modalities work best at prevention, and not nearly as well after everything else has already failed, leaving the patient weakened and in greater difficulties. Our medical system has virtually lost the battle for Aboriginal health, and if they can offer no cure, they should not object to a patient exploring other avenues, especially natural based alternatives. This would likely include all of the chronic diseases currently causing harm.
Safe to Practice
Today, many people practice preventative medicine as part of normal dietary and living practices. All solutions proposed here are safe, without side effects, are health promoting and inexpensive.