• The Mob Feeds' Facebook group is fast growing in to a place to connect and share love of food and cooking during the Covid-19 lockdown. (Facebook)Source: Facebook
Cooking has become one of the most popular past-times during Covid-19 isolation and comfort food has taken on a new significance for many that have been unable to get back on Country.
Emily Nicol

9 May 2020 - 11:25 AM  UPDATED 9 May 2020 - 11:27 AM

Gaining over 22,000 followers in only five weeks, popular Facebook group 'Mob Feeds' is fast becoming a source of connection and sharing among First Nations community, with traditional blackfella feeds and recipes being shared.

Created by Warumungu/Wombaya woman Jess Johnson, the idea for the group was her "isolation baby", she told NITV News with a laugh, though it was her partner who pushed her to make it happen.

"My partner Keri Tiananga is Waikato Tainui Maori and those mob have Facebook food groups for days, lives cooking and yarning up.

"She kept humbugging about our equivalent so we had a quick suss to see what was out there. I didn’t come across anything so started Mob Feeds."

On the Facebook page description, Ms Johnson said that it is a place for First Nations community to "connect through food. Food's a happy place for many of us and we’re all cooking up much more at home now. No feeds too flash or humble."

She added that the group was one of several including Music for the Mob and Activities for Mob that we are all created out of the need to stay connected during the Covid-19 "madness".

"Mob Feeds really brings so much joy. it’s like going over to your aunties house for a party sussing that big table of food to see what everyone cooked and how much you can fit on your plate," said Ms Johnson.


WE LOVE: bush food, culture, community, difference, tinmeet, devon, vegetables, meat, seafood, rice, vegans, carnivores, pescatarians, recipes, process videos, lives, city, country, island, remote, rainbow mob and the rest XO

Whilst there are some funny posts of feeds gone wrong and kitchen mishaps, a lot of posts show families getting out to fish, cook and share meals together. It's the kind of joy that Ms Johnson was hoping to foster within community.

"It’s such a beautiful positive space for everyone. Even educational. Blackfellas across Australia are similar and so so different. I’ve learnt different things there like sissy Lucia Yuin eating raw sting ray," she said.

Ms Johnson is active in the group, commenting on most posts and said that being a food lover, she is mostly salivating over all of the food that is being shared but it's also inspired her beyond her usual culinary creations, with varied results.

"I have one signature dish and it’s a everything salad which is self explanatory or i’ll just pull everything out of the fridge throw it on the table cut it up with some dips and crackers. We call it ‘Mermaid’ food -like the movie, not the mythical creature." she said.

"(I've) failed a few recipe attempts - papaya salad for example."

Kuku Yalanji/Kuku Nyungkal family from Far North Queensland, the Cobbs, shared their passion for seafood and bush foods.

No Blackfella food page would be complete without staples like bully beef, or devon and chip sandwiches, but curry takes the top place for the most popular topic. 

The comfort of cooking meals that hold special memories and connection to family means that the Mob Feeds page has provided more than just a place for sharing food photos and recipes while the country has struggled under COVID-19 lockdown. 

Mena Saylor and her family share their family meals on the Mob Feeds page. Speaking to NITV News, Mena says that her husband and sons catch all of their seafood.

"We are truly blessed to be here and for my family to be able to fish on the coast in the Pilbara," she said.

"Much respect to the people of this Country. We are originally from Torres Strait and work and live in little mining town of Mt Tom Price. We get to go to the coast on breaks regularly to get our salt water fix and of course our seafood."

With the daily numbers of the group growing steadily, Johnson sees it as "wonderful" and the page even has regular contributors who are gaining popularity in their own right.

"We even have mob feed celebrities like mumma Jean and her daughter Sandra," she said. "Food is universal, political and cultural. it’s everything to me."

Head here to find out more about Mob Feeds.

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