Ice shift alters Inuit diets
December 30th, 2010
11:30 AM ET
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And you thought you had a rough time getting to the grocery store through a few inches of snow. CNN International reports that the traditional Inuit diet is being replaced by junk food because of climate change.

Barry Smit, a professor at the University of Guelph, Canada has spent five years researching how melting ice is making it difficult for Inuits to maintain their diet of seal, walrus, whale and polar bear, and causing many young people to turn to processed food. That's leading to levels of obesity and dental problems previously unseen when the native diet was centered around raw meat.

Read Inuit lives and diets change as ice shifts on CNN International and complete coverage on Earth's Frontiers

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Filed under: Climate Change • Environment

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. ...

    So apparently the world has quite a few ignorant people in it.

    The Inuit can't get their natural food because there is no ice. If you didn't realize it the ice plays a major role in their hunting. Not to mention... if there is no ice, there is no food.

    Because of that the Inuit have to find alternative means to feed themselves.... the grocery store. They didn't really get a choice, they have to eat.

    The Inuit are not your stereotypical Native Americans. They don't enjoy the same luxuries as you and I do. And simply telling them to 'adapt' is careless and ignorant. Not everyone lives the same way as you do. If you've lived an Inuit lifestyle then you might be able to say that. But reading a couple articles about the Inuit doesn't make you some expert on the subject.

    Global warming exists and its affecting the Inuits lifestyle. The above article obviously says that.

    Take it from a true 16 year old Canadian and don't take such a lazy and careless opinion on the subject... think about all the facts first.

    December 31, 2010 at 10:00 pm |
  2. The Witty One

    I think I agree with Dr. MCHammerpants. I am certainly not an expert by any means but it seems to me that they should still be able to find their food. Adapt and survive. They have been around for a looonnnngggg time and i'm pretty sure something like global warming shouldn't stop them.

    On a side note – Doesn't anyone look at ice cores? The world has has extremely good weather for the last 10,000 years or so. The typical client on earth over the course of it's 4 billion year lifetime is way worse then anything we are seeing now. We are in a giant weather loop and we will come out of it in a few hundred thousand years.

    December 30, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  3. Jdizzle McHammerpants from his iPhizzle

    What this article fails to mention is the progress of technology and modernization of the Alaskan and Canadian native culture. Factor in the native corporation dividends and US government payoffs to the tribes along with intense alcoholism among the population and this is some of what you see. Laziness, health issues, technological advances, and a connection to the modern world are large factors.

    Take it from a true Alaskan who has seen it first hand. Me.

    Thanks, but no thanks, tree huggers and liberals. Global warming is not the key part of diet change. Caribou herds are not effected. In fact, they taste better than anything else.

    December 30, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
    • RichardHead@Jdizz

      Is this really My Brother? Got a fever or anything? Very WELL Said Bro!

      December 30, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  4. USVeteran

    Rising obesity has nothing to do with climatic change. The Inuits' choice to eat processed foods that are more convenient rather than looking for other nutrition sources is the only reason. Don't blame the grocery store and the food it provides for a human being's bad choice.

    December 30, 2010 at 11:59 am |
    • Evil Grin

      But the climate change is directly responsible for the depletion of their traditional food sources. And I'm sure in some areas it's hard to get fresh food imported on a regular basis.

      December 30, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
    • NoDoubt

      Have you seen the prices of fresh nutritious foods over there?

      December 30, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants from his iPhizzle

        Slightly more than they were 2000 years ago?

        It's high, but they didn't depend on grocery stores for produce until the twentieth century.

        December 30, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
      • Kerrie

        Any type of food weather good in flavor or good in health is very expensive anymore!

        January 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
  5. Evil Grin

    No one sees global warming quite like these guys. For a lot of people, myself included, the ice caps melting and such barely affects our everyday lives, so it's that much harder to realize the severity of the problem. I'm sorry they are losing their vital food sources.

    December 30, 2010 at 11:55 am |
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