Author Vic Cherikoff has been credited as a pioneer of the commercialization of wild food. In the 1980s he began sourcing, marketing and promoting a range of a few dozen species as foods which are slowly becoming the basis of an authentic cuisine.
Vic Cherikoff describes himself as a scientist, author and entrepreneur but others have called him a visionary due to his passion for bringing the ancient, traditional foods and medicines of the Australian Aborigines into the modern-world sciences of food technology, nutrition, cosmetic chemistry and pharmacology.
His pioneering post-graduate work began with six year’s research into the clinical pharmacology of biochemically active natural compounds and their effects on brain chemistry and neurotransmitters. This far-reaching research, lead to changes in the understanding of diseases such as Parkinsonism, Huntington disease and schizophrenia but the work in neuro-chemistry also assisted Vic’s understanding of the functional effects of bioactive components in wild Australian plants on human biochemistry.
Following on from this work came another 6 years of analytical research into the nutritional value of wild Australian foods and then another 20 years on species-specific examination of the functionality of Australian foods and medicines (see www.cherikoff.net). His pioneering research in this field revealed qualities of the foods traditionally eaten by Aborigines and which sustained their rich and diverse, yet environmentally sustainable culture for over 60,000 years, making them the oldest living culture on the planet. Vic believes that we still have much to learn from them and time is running out.
The food-medicine interplay became evident in his research findings of the world’s highest fruit source of vitamin C (the Kalari plum). He commercialized a whole plethora of super-foods with incredibly high levels of anti-oxidants which are protective against ageing and a wide range of diseases (see www.kalaricrush.com.au and http://ozlife.co). Kalari Crush® is exclusive to TVSN, Australia’s home shopping TV channel.
Another formulation called Herbal-Active® is a natural preservative and is already in use in mainstream beverages, foods and cosmetics and is retail packed as Fresher4Longer natural food rinse™.
Whether it is cooking in front of the cameras (www.dining-downunder.com) or working with manufacturers developing the next supermarket line with an authentic Australian twist or lecturing on biotechnology and functional foods, Vic Cherikoff is a passionate wild food devotee, an advocate for Aboriginal opportunity, an emissary of environmentally sustainable wild food management and an advocate for the new Australian trend-setting functional ingredients. Have you tried some yet?