Indigenous

The Antioxidants strike again...

Thursday, 20 September 2007

From  ABC Alice Springs

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 disease.

“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.

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