Transmission of Traditional Food Knowledge
Experiences and perspectives of young adults
Keywords:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Nutritional interventions have been included in government policy to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, whose social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) is closely linked to culture. Given the connection of traditional food and food practices to culture, Country and community, promoting traditional food and food practices through community-led interventions may be a solution to improving health and nutrition interventions. However, a greater understanding of traditional knowledge transmission and acquisition is required. Currently there is a limited body of research on transmission of traditional food knowledge regarding young adults. The aim of this study was to gather the perspectives, attitudes and concerns of young adults regarding traditional food and food knowledge. This was achieved through in-depth, semi-structured interviews with young adults aged 25 to 35 living on Yuin land. Results showed that traditional food knowledge was important for identity and SEWB by facilitating connection to family, community, culture and Country. Young adults had a strong desire to gain more traditional food knowledge and to transmit this knowledge to subsequent generations. However, this was limited by disconnection from knowledge-bearers and difficulties balancing knowledge acquisition with work and home responsibilities in their mainly Western cultural context. Hence, interventions promoting traditional food knowledge amongst young adults have the potential to improve SEWB. However, as a pilot study, saturation was not reached, and larger-scale studies are required to support the results and conclusions.
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