Surviving on Bushtucker: What You Need to Know

Uncategorized By Mar 16, 2023

Bush tucker refers to food derived from the Australian outback or bush that has been an essential source of nutrition for indigenous communities for thousands of years. Bush foods range from insects and grubs to fruits and nuts, reptiles and amphibians, and snakes. To consume bush tucker safely, it is important to identify edible plants and animals from poisonous ones, as well as when and where to find them. The article lists some of the bush tucker foods such as wattleseed, wild berries, and rosella. It is also essential to understand the nutrients and safe methods of consuming unfamiliar foods when foraging.

Surviving on Bushtucker: What You Need to Know

Bush tucker is a term used to describe food derived from the Australian outback or bush. These foods are diverse, unique, and often strange looking, but for many indigenous communities in Australia, they have been an essential source of nutrition for thousands of years. Although the thought of eating insects, lizards, and other strange foods may seem alien and unappetizing to some people, bush tucker is a great source of protein and other important nutrients that can help you survive in the wilderness. In this article, we’ll discuss what you need to know to survive on bush tucker.

Surviving on Bush Tucker: The Basics

Bush foods, also known as bushtucker, range from insects and grubs to fruits and nuts. Aboriginal people have long used their knowledge of the bush and its resources to find food, water, and shelter in a difficult environment. Some of the bush foods that you may find when foraging include:

1. Grubs and insects – These are rich in protein and fat, making them an ideal survival food. Some commonly consumed insects include the witchetty grub, honey ant, green ant, and bogong moth.

2. Fruits and nuts – These are also an essential part of bush tucker. Examples of nut varieties include macadamia, acacia, and quandongs, which can provide essential calories and other nutrients.

3. Reptiles and amphibians – Lizard and frog meat are widely consumed in many parts of Australia, and they are rich in protein and other essential nutrients.

4. Snakes – Snakes are also often consumed, but you need to have some knowledge of the different species to know which ones are safe to eat.

When it comes to finding bush foods safely, there are some things you need to know. Firstly, it’s important to identify edible plants and animals from poisonous ones. Secondly, knowing when and where to find bush tucker is also essential.

Edible Plants

Before consuming any plant, make sure you can correctly identify it as edible. Some plants can cause sickness or even death when consumed. For instance, cycad seeds should not be eaten raw, as they contain toxins that can result in severe health problems. However, they are edible when roasted, which eliminates the toxins that are in the seeds.

When foraging, some of the bush tucker plants that you may come across include:

1. Wild berries – These range from raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, and are a good source of nutrients and energy.

2. Wattleseed – The ground seeds of the acacia tree, which can be used to make a type of flour to make bread or pastries.

3. Rosella – Rosella is a variety of hibiscus that produces a red fruit that can be used to make jams and teas.

Edible Insects and Animals

When it comes to eating insects, safety is crucial. If you are not confident in your ability to identify edible insects, then it’s best to avoid them altogether. Here are a few examples of edible insects that are eaten in Australia:

1. Witchetty grub – A beetle larvae, which is eaten both cooked and raw.

2. Bogong Moth – Moths are a significant food source for indigenous Australians. They are high in protein and are often roasted before consumption.

3. Green Ants – These are also known as weaver ants because they weave their nests out of leaves.


Q. Is it safe to eat bush tucker?

A. Generally, bush tucker is safe to eat, but you need to be careful when foraging. It’s essential to know which plants and animals are edible and which ones are poisonous or have toxins that need to be removed before consumption.

Q. How do I find bush tucker for survival?

A. You can find bush tucker by foraging in the wild. However, it’s important to do your research beforehand and have some knowledge of the area, the edible plants and animals, and how to identify them.

Q. What nutrients can I get from bush tucker?

A. Bush tucker can provide a wide range of nutrients, including protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals.


Surviving on bush tucker may be challenging, but with the right knowledge and skills, it’s possible to find food in the wild. Knowing what to look for and how to identify edible plants and animals is essential when foraging. As always, make sure to practice caution when eating unfamiliar foods.