The Antioxidants strike again...
Thursday, 20 September 2007
Bombing cancer with bush tomatoes
September 12, 2007.
By Nicole Lee and Dave Richards
Local artist, Suzy Lyon has created what judges have described as an “anti
oxidant bomb” for the second heat of the Bush Foods Cooking Competition at the
Alice Springs Desert Festival.
The dish, which combines native bush tomato, pomegranate and kangaroo is
titled “Pomegranate and Bush Tomato Kangaroo Casserole” and is claimed to be
packed full of cancer killing anti oxidants.
Suzy Lyon started eating bush tomatoes more for medicinal rather than
culinary purposes. During her battle against cancer, bush tomatoes became a
regular feature on Suzy’s menu and part of her healthy eating regime to fight
“The reason why I did this is I know bush tomatoes are really high in anti
oxidants. Having had cancer myself I’m really interested in eating things and
knowing about things that are very good for you,” says Suzy.
The judges in heat two of the Bush Foods Competition were
impressed with the usability of the recipe.
“One of the things Suzy was trying to do here is get an anti oxidant bomb
going. What she’s done is combine the bush tomato, which is renowned for its
huge quantities of anti oxidants, so is the pomegranate… What we’ve done
here is produce something that’s got a purpose,” says Judge Peter Yates.
The small red fruit, native to Central Australia has a strange taste not
similar to your average tomato. After years of eating the bush tomato in both
dried and paste form, Suzy says the taste of the fruit started to get to her.
“I think they taste terrible. So I wanted try and make something with them
that tasted nice.”
Suzy’s attempt to redeem the bush tomato culminated in
the unusual combination of the fruit with pomegranate.
“Pomegranates also have really good properties in them
and the tartness of them I think probably marries well with the extreme and
tense and bitter flavours that are in the bush tomatoes,” says Suzy.
Despite Suzy and Peter’s belief in the properties of the bush tomato Jenny
Cleary, from the Desert Knowledge CRC says more needs to be done to prove the
anti oxidant qualities of the fruit.
“Certainly a number of foods are claimed to have anti
oxidant properties, but at this stage we no conclusive evidence…The CRC is
doing some chemical analysis on bush tomatoes. So far we haven’t found any
links between cancer – either prevention or treatment.”
Take a look at some of the other bush food recipes in
this year's Bush
Foods Cooking Competition.