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    The study only deals with bought food, and neglects any reference to home grown/traditional foods.

    Maybe the communities are growing their own fruit and vegetables and so don’t need to buy them.

    Either way, subsidies are not the answer. Group buying groups (to get better pricing) or an aboriginal wholesaler in remote communities (which would provide employment) would be a better solution.

    Not everything requires a handout from the government.

  2. 2

    R. Ambrose Raven

    For a start, it isn’t just about children, unless you want a mechanism that gives children affordable, healthy food while leaving the adults with unaffordable, unhealthy food. So the correct approach is to ensure that such food is available, in a way most likely to have them actually use it.

    In remoter areas, the first part of the solution actually seems fairly simple.

    Aboriginal general stores could be the dominant local supplier, thus having a major influence on the practices within a community by what they do and don’t stock and service. For example, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations provide food at meetings, community barbecues, group programmes and other community events. Aboriginal Health Workers are often seen as role models in their community and have the potential to be advocates for healthy lifestyle choices. Regular and reliable public transport is essential, which again an Aboriginal organisation and drivers are best placed to provide.

    One for the children – provide said healthy meals at school. In fact, all schools should provide breakfast.

    Due to both complacency and ideology, food security in Australia is deteriorating. As with many other problems, the warning signs are emerging amongst the disadvantaged and low income groups. Food insecurity arises for them through increasingly not having sufficient food, being unable to afford food when hungry; having a poor diet due to those limited food options; anxiety about the next meal; or having to rely on food relief. Naturally, our politicians and media are in denial.

    After claims emerged in late ’11 of Aborigines in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands starving because they cannot afford to buy food, Mal Brough, the architect of the Northern Territory intervention, blamed the Rann and Gillard governments for failing to force them to have welfare reforms and quarantining. He thus diverted the issue to suit his political agenda – though obviously the assumption inherent in his approach worked against any effective solution.

  3. 3

    Roger Clifton

    On the contrary, perhaps we should DENY them access to food, any food between meals. And if the kids are fat, empty the frig of carbs. Chuck out all the dairy products, all the fruit juices and anything made with flour. Especially anything labelled with “natural goodness”.

    We take this “healthy food” business too far. If the kids aren’t fat and don’t have scurvy, they’re doing fine.

  4. 4

    Aidan Stanger

    Where the water is available, the best solution is for people to grow their own fruit, and we should do a lot more to encourage them to do so.

    But that’s only half the solution, and won’t be much use in many desert communities. We also need better roads so that the produce that doesn’t grow there can be trucked in more cheaply.


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