Impact Of Asian Migration On Australian Food And Health
- Article Author: Alexander Hill
There is a historical link of Australian food and health with Asia. So, a significant exchange of food habit and health pattern is observed between the people of these two regions. It is well known that human population originated from African Rift Valley. Australia is mostly populated by people from Asia than the people from any other places. Native Australians came in this land from Asia and they have linguistic connections with people of south India. Moreover, northern Australia was also frequently visited by the people from Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and China before European settlement. In addition, for thousands of years there was trade of food between South-East Asia and China and indigenous people of northern Australia. Studies show that migration from China, Afghanistan, Asian student and increasing travelers add diversity in Australian food culture. Chinese people have major contribution in Australian food chain. They have introduced rice, different kind of vegetables, tropical fruits, wide variety of spices and herbs; developed fresh food market, garden market. Especially Thai cuisine by itself has created firm position in the era of food in Australia as well as other developed countries. Similarly, Australian households are now more familiarized to the Asian food & cooking techniques by international students, especially from Asia, boarding with them. Moreover, technologies and processing of some foods potentially depend on Asian, for example production of noodle, manufacturing of tofu and tempeh, using of plant shoots. The major advantage of Asian migration to Australia is that it has increased the diversification of diet among majority of Australian population. There is a potential health value of diverse food that provides natural nutrients and other food components. Two basic parameters of healthy living are food diversity and physical activity. So, diversification of Australian food with herbs, spices and fermented food increase the potential of health protection of them. There are also impacts of migration on Asians in Australia. For Asians, energy expenditure has decreased while food energy density increased (for taking more fat and cold drinks). Consequently, there is also a decrease in foods (e.g. lentils, soy, greens) and drinks (tea) that have health protective value. This in turn leads different diseases such as abdominal obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancers (breast, colo-rectal and prostate). Thus, migration of Asians to Australia creates health protective opportunity for host country while the migrant citizens are vulnerable to the threat of nutrient associated health problems.