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From Outback gardens - a bushtucker pie

By NIGEL AUSTIN
26may 06

Found at The Advertiser

THE newest offering on Australia's rapidly expanding bush food menu is that most traditional of dishes - a pie. The first batch of 20,000 bushfoods and beef pies was made yesterday at Vili's and are expected to be in shops from next week.

Vili's new healthy pie, which features produce grown in Aboriginal-owned bushfood gardens, is the brainchild of South-East woman Gail Quarmby after despairing at the diet of Aboriginal workers at the community-run gardens. The new pie provides a healthy food for Aboriginal communities and a way of making money.

"This specific project came about because when we were working in the AP Lands, the young men only ate these horrible fatty Victorian pies and cans of Coke," Mrs Quarmby said. "We've been supplying Vili's with bulk bush foods for several years and for a long time, I've been asking him for help. When we told him the facts about the poor nutrition, poor health and lack of jobs in Aboriginal communities, he agreed to help."

The low fat, low salt, high fibre pies are made partly from desert raisins, wattle seed and fresh saltbush grown at the gardens.

Mrs Quarmby is devoted to helping Aboriginal people. She and husband Mike started Outback Pride, based at Reedy Creek in the South-East, to help Aboriginal communities develop a bushfood industry. The bushfoods pie benefits from vitamin C and other minerals in the desert raisins, the wattle seed is used for thickening and fibre, while saltbush leaves add natural salt, antioxidants and iron.

"We tried to prepare a complete balanced meal in a pie and they turned-out to be very yummy at the same time," Mrs Quarmby said.

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