A crisis in my refridgerator (where I discovered I was without two of the five basic food groups) led to me pondering the cultural constructs of nutrition. In Bardi, the food groups are aarli ‘meat (or rather, ‘animal-based food, including fish’)’, mayi ‘bush foods (non-meat food)’, and goorlil ‘turtle’. The five graduate student (and lazy junior faculty) food groups are of course leftovers, beer, seminar food, chocolate and ‘other’. As far as I can tell, in Yan-nhaŋu there’s muru (bushfood) and warrakan’ ‘meat food’, and that’s it. Warlpiri also has a ‘delicacy’ class which includes witchetty grubs and cheeseburgers.
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