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Different Emphasis in Inuit Climate Change Story

There has been a string of climate change stories recently, particularly in light of the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference. I enjoyed particularly this story from cbc.ca: ‘Changing climate has more Inuit shopping for food.’ The emphasis here is less about the impact of climate change on hunting and, instead, on the repurcussions of that change — the assertion is that store bought food is increasingly common in Inuit diets. My students will appreciate the cultural change aspects to this story.

I wondered often about the percentages of store-bought and country foods in the diets of people I work with. I saw that calculation as a possible window into cultural change, particularly where a shift from hunting as a first order economic activity to an increasingly symbolic practice. Trying to determine the relative importance of these food sources is, however, challenging and I never found an adequate way to do so. (Perhaps I need to spend more time with the biological anthropologists … !)

(See also comments on the connections between climate change and Inuit diets at Anthropology.net.)

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