A Diet Of Mostly Meat Written by Stefan Pociask
My sincere thanks to Stefan for allowing me to publish this article, very much appreciated.
… Inuit people, and others of the far, far North. Their diet has very little vegetable matter of any kind, in many areas. Whale and seal meat and blubber is their mainstay, along with fish, birds and polar bear. The cuisine consists of recipes like stinkfish, fish buried in seal bags or cans in the tundra and left to ferment. And fermented seal flipper; they like that too. Items made from flour are also occasionally eaten, as this is something they may trade for.
It would be reasonable to wonder where these people and others, like the Eskimo (not all native northern people are Eskimo, and some Inuit take offence to this word), get their vitamins on such a high fat, high protein diet, when they have access to so few vegetables or plants of any kind. This question is actually called The Inuit Paradox.
The answer comes from a few sources. Much of the meat eaten, is raw; certainly blubber, fish and organs. Meat, prior to cooking, does contain quite a number of vitamins that societies who cook their meat, do not have access to. Vitamin C, for instance, exists in raw meat and organs, to the extent that raw meat every day supplies enough Vitamin C to prevent scurvy. Seal brain and whale skin also contains Vitamin C.
Also, there is another source… although there is some greenery far up north, it may be limited to only lichen for most of the year.
Lichen is too tough for humans, and in fact most animals, to break down and properly digest… cooked or not. The “Far North” people have found a wonderful solution to this. Whenever a lichen-eating animal such as a reindeer or caribou is hunted, the stomach contents are highly prized! The farther along the digestive system that the contents are found… the closer it gets to poop… obviously. But in the first half of the system, the lichen and other plants are “cooked” by stomach acids and enzymes, breaking them down to a consistency that is edible, digestible and jammed packed with vitamins. It’s like Inuit vegetarian ceviche`! Instead of lemon juice, they use stomach acid! Yum!
So… no onions in “Far Northern People’s” cuisine. Barely any plant matter at all. Yet still they manage.
Gotta love it! Life always finds a way.
And there’s always this famous favorite… Akutaq, or Eskimo Ice Cream, made from anything edible… literally… from fish to caribou to berries: Akutaq Check out the recipe in that video link. It’s interesting!