How We Lived Before the White Man Came Along


A South Australian aboriginal woman from the Pitjantjatjarra tribe tells the poignant tale of what went wrong when she tried processed food…and how she turned it all around.

WARNING: Brief nudity of aboriginal adults and children

I resonated deeply with this story because my own carnivore approach to plants is only wild-growing, native fruits that I can harvest myself and eat on the spot. In Oregon, this narrows it down to wild strawberries in late spring and huckleberries and blackberries in fall. If I can work hard enough to collect a multi-handful binge on the side of the trail, I’m doin’ it.

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #2

Interesting video, and very instructive.


Yeah, hard to argue with a field test that conclusive.

I maintain that we are all living one, big, fat field test just as conclusive but nobody’s paying any attention to history. (sigh)

(Gregory - You can teach an old dog new tricks.) #4

Yeah, but the " whole grain goodness " and " six servings of fruit and vegetables " factions, will make up stories about how unhealthy and short lived the natives were before they were introduced to healthier eating habits and modern medicine.

Fortunately it’s pretty easy to debunk those claims

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #5

Exactly, Greg. They didn’t live very long after we met them and brought a slew of new diseases along! We must get more involved and save them from themselves.

(Doug) #6

I want some of that ‘rock wallaby.’


I know, right? I wonder what it tastes like.

There’s a wild game thread I started in here somewhere…


Australian “venison”. Kangaroo tail is the nicest part. The other cuts can be recognised butcher cuts. Smoked kangaroo also is delicious. But the animals are very lean, so the meat is not so tasty as a roast or pan fried. It’s ok in stews. It needs some cooking tricks. That campfire cooking with the skin and fur on will make it tasty. It’s mainly used as pet food.

The very low carb animal foods based eating with foraged, ripe, seasonal fruits sounds amazing.


Food: real then until sugar, processed flour, tinned anything came into play or boxed and preserved thru chems for long time on shelf.

Food: NOW gross and dead.

Older times, just becoming dead food and everyone will say who is older, like my mom who is 92…we never ate like this. It was ‘not available’. Once someone ‘fed you’ all hell too off on health issues rearing its ugly head.

Just a time line. Just life as we all know it on food thru the ages. Anyone focusing on eating thru the years knows ‘once civilization had to feed the masses’ it was grains and more for ‘fast fixes’ and once there…been screwed ever since for all mankind.


Irony: Feeding starvation foods to starving populations around the world to perpetuate starving.


How bizarre, because just as I fell asleep last night, I was thinking, “I’d want to try the tail first.”

What gives the tail so much flavor, Franko?


and it was all about control.

feed them ‘less’ and they were more sickly and ‘controllable’ which is where we are today. Sick people don’t care enough to change what is ‘herding them’ into their control ya know.

big nasty vicious horrible cycle truly when one thinks about it in the big pic…and oh so sad what humans were and are now.

(Gregory - You can teach an old dog new tricks.) #13

Think about all the fast food and processed food commercials; particularly when targeting children…

It looks so Yummy !

… and don’t forget those bubbly soft drinks, that look so cold and refreshing… Do the Dew!


yup and we cave and have no idea of the full truth behind it all…money and control and that what is life has been since ‘money came into real play’ in human life. Back way before it was warfare to slay those that did not fit but once ‘civilized how dare ya?’ come into play it went into another direction which was happeing too then so? ALL are a pawn and it can be horrifying for many being a pawn in this now global world.


Not all advertising is convincing.


I think the straight on the wood campfire cooking method that smokes the meat as it cooks is important to the flavour. The tail is that nice mix of tissues: bone, cartilage, ligaments, some spinal cord, and skeletal muscle. The roo tail is well muscled and much more meaty than other animals you could probably think of (I do like ox tail slow cooked). That is all wrapped in fur and skin that makes a nice cooking package. That mix of amino acids in the variety of tissue, particularly the sweeter glycine in the connective tissue might make a difference.

The main meat in kangaroos :kangaroo: is in the back legs and rump. It’s all dark red meat full of myoglobin and low in fat. Being low fat and lean it lacks flavour if butchered like a ruminant into separate cuts. But just lobbing the whole carcass on a natural timber coal fire with skin still on looks like a delicious way to cook it. There may be a small amount of fat under the skin in some young joeys. That’s why cooking with skin on makes a better flavoured meal.

You’ll notice the roo in the film was gutted. The camp dogs will usually get that part. That is unfortunate because it can perpetuate health problems due to parasites. It can be dangerous to eat kangaroo offal as they are a reservoir and intermediate host to the hydatid tapeworm. It also means muscle meat needs to be well done cooked to kill any tapeworm cysts. If people become infected the tapeworm can cause cysts anywhere in the body, but a common site is in the brain.


It’s interesting to hear the lady talk about eating grasses. You can see that the wild grasses seeds were used to make a flour and camp fire cakes. So these Pitinjarra people were gatherer agrarians. Where I live the local aborigines use the seeds from wattle trees to make flour and campfire cakes. Again a gathering form of seed collection and processing to get carbohydrate accessible calories. There’s a lot of work that goes into making the flour and cake, so you can appreciate the diet was still low carb despite these food resources.

There is a book by Bruce Pascoe called “Dark Emu” that describes Australian Aboriginal culture on the east coast as a farming culture in the way the people managed the landscape to grow the seeding grasses for food. This is a slightly different history than what is more commonly taught about hunter gatherers. I’m not sure if the aboriginal ancestors actually cultivated the soil and planted crops. My best understanding is that the landscape was manipulated with cool burning fires to create the best productive environment in which the seeding grasses and native flowering plants could grow. It was a mixed pasture as some plants were harvested for starchy roots rather than seeds.


and an all natural state.

Not the pesticide overly processed destroyed chemical preserved gmo flour that is on our grocery shelves :slight_smile:


Fascinating! Thanks for all the info, I love learning new stuff.

The explanation for putting an unskinned carcass directly on a fire makes perfect sense. I always thought it was just an efficiency thing but saving juices is forever on the top of MY list of cooking goals, so I’m glad to hear that I’ve tapped into universal wisdom.

In fact, I’m so into beef nectar that I drain every drop of myoglobin from the package into a saucepan on the stove and simmer it along with drippings until it enters Maillard territory to serve as a nice sauce. A1 can suck it.