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Spectacles of revulsion: The challenges of “Bush-tucker” as contemporary cuisine
chapterposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Nicole AnaeNicole Anae
Coined in the 1880s as a phrase combining “bush”—vernacular for the Australian topography—and “tucker”—an idiom for “food”—the cultural commodification of “bush-tucker” makes for instructive reading in the ecopolitical implications of cultural evolutions in food commodification, and the cultural fashioning of food forms as popular entertainment. The contemporary aestheticization of “bush-tucker” as pejorative is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in reality television programs such as I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here, Survivor, and The Biggest Loser, among others. Whereas nineteenth-century white colonists often survived on “bush-tucker” while simultaneously disavowing its Indigenous origins, the so-called “survival” of contemporary reality-show contestants relies as much on their capacity to endure food-trials in which the consumption of these “bush” forms signifies triumph over repulsion as on defining such challenges as the ultimate spectacle of ingestion and revulsion as popular entertainment.