Mike's Australia by Mike Dixon - HTML preview

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16 Army Tucker


Questions are frequently asked about the food served to soldiers serving in the Australian armed forces:

Q.  Is it true the Australian army serves white ants to its soldiers?

A.  No.  The boys are expected to catch them for themselves.

Q.  Do the soldiers really eat ants?

A.  Only when they're hungry.

Q.  Is it true they cook the ants on top of their tanks?

A.  No.  They cook eggs on their tanks.  The metal gets so hot in the sun that you can fry things on it.  That saves fuel and is good for the environment.

Q.  Why doesn't the army provide proper ration packs for its soldiers then they wouldn't have to eat ants?

A.  The correct name is termite and they're good tucker.

Q.  What is tucker?

A.  Grub.

Q.  Why are termites good tucker?

A.  The pupae are packed full of protein and that's what you eat.

Q.  When do the soldiers eat termites?

A.  When they are living off the land.

Q.  What's wrong with kangaroos?

A.  Nothing ...  if you can catch one.

Q.  But termites are small ...

A.  See below.

Individual termites are small but the colonies are big.  When you look out over the Australian bush and see gigantic termite mounds, think of each mound as representing a cow or bull.  That's about the quantity of protein they contain.

When I lived in Townsville, many of my diving mates were in the army.  Some were in Special Forces units.  They told me about bush tucker and the packs of cards they carried on manoeuvres.  They were about the size of playing cards and provided information needed to live off the land.  One side had a picture of a plant or animal.  The other told you about its nutritional properties and where to find it.

If you want to find out more, search the net for Les Hiddins.  He was Capt. Hiddins when I knew him.  He has since left the army and is well known for his books and TV-series on bush tucker.



I’ve met all sorts of people during my life and that has given me lots of ideas for my books.  My latest is The Emerald Buddha and it is a mystery thriller.  You can buy The Emerald Buddha from Amazon for $6.50 or receive a FREE COPY from me.  CLICKhttp://eepurl.com/bNh_nn