“How can food and drink damage our bodies?”
Video No2 starts with this question.
Interesting: Amongst traditional foods, sweet foods were really rare, so sweet foods were highly sought after traditionally.
This video works through the two things that our bodies need from food, nutrition and energy.
Yolngu have heard the word nutrition from Balanda for decades in all forms of health promotion campaigns but they have not understood its meaning. It sounds just like a Yolngu Matha word that English speakers might get used to hearing and using but it gives no real meaning.
To explain a word like nutrition our bilingual team goes back to the Latin root word nutria (to nurse, nourish, suckle, feed). This opened up a really great conversation about breastfeeding.
Coca-Cola instead of breast milk.
Unfortunately, many young Yolngu mothers are no longer breastfeeding their babies but instead feeding them things like Coca-Cola rather than following the advice of their elders and feeding them breast milk. As you know, this will lead to poor development and the early onset of diabetes and many other diseases.
In this video, we were advised by our cross-cultural team to show as many Balanda women breastfeeding as we could so younger Yolngu women would be happy to follow their example, hopefully seeing it as a cool thing to do again.
What is energy?
We then had to talk about getting energy from food. Yolngu straightaway asked, “What is energy? We hear the word all the time but what does it mean”? Back to the Latin root word again showed us that energy comes from the word “to work”.
This made little sense to Yolngu until we got the right grammar context. Then it started to make some sense. But?
But how can food be a fuel?
How is food a fuel? Was another big blockage. Yolngu said, “We understand fuel as petrol or diesel, so what has it got to do with food? This video works through how food is fuel and gives us energy.
The trouble a lot of modern foods have lots of fuel in them. And too much fuel is giving us chronic diseases just like cigarettes do.
Cultural safety note: On the advice of our Yolngu cultural advisory team, there are no images of diseased Yolngu and a few dark people in this video. Yolngu want access to knowledge, not to be re-traumatised while watching an information video.