The Unusual Diet of The Inuit People Living in the Frigid Zone

Inuit

The Frigid Zone is the area including and surrounding the Arctic, that encompasses Alaska, Greenland and the most northern parts of Canada. This part of the world has a very low population and is only inhabited by the Inuit people. Due to the cold climate and the sparse environment, the Inuit have a very unusual diet.

Traditionally, the Inuit are hunters and fishers who eat only what they can catch themselves. They have no access to grocery stores and eat only what is naturally available. This results in a somewhat limited diet of seal, whale, reindeer, birds, and seafood. Their diet is almost carbohydrate-free and fruit and vegetables are generally limited to seaweed, tubers, and berries that are gathered during the season and then preserved. 

With all the hype about eating a healthy and well-balanced diet, this lack of carbohydrates and fresh fruit and vegetables may seem concerning. It makes sense to believe that a diet that is so protein-rich would potentially cause health problems.

However, studies have shown that this is not the case. Despite what most would consider a very poor diet, the Inuit enjoy extremely good health and research shows that they are accessing all the vitamins and minerals they need to maintain good health. 

Written in response to the Daily Prompt ‘Frigid’ on The Daily Post.

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WATCH: The Amazing School Meals in Japan

Japanese school dinners

When I was at school (some time ago now) the school dinners were dreadful. We were served tasteless slop and there are many foods that I still will not eat based on my experiences at school; custard is one of them. I just came across this amazing video on a social media site that shows how Japanese school dinners are served and wanted to share it straight away. I truly believe that schools from across the globe should follow the lead of the Japanese based on this video content. 

First, the children plan their school meals and then study the nutritional value of the meals and the cultural significance of the dishes. Next, they take turns to serve the meals to their peers. Many of the meals are made from produce grown on the school farm. Therefore, the meals are made from fresh seasonal produce, are healthy and delicious. The video shows some of the meals they eat and also mentions that the Japanese have one of the lowest childhood obesity rates in the world and that their school meals are one of the reasons for this.

At the end of meal time, the children thank their servers and clean the dining hall. They consider their dinnertime to be part of their education rather than a break from their education. They are taught to have respect, manners, and pride in their school. I was particularly interested in this as I worked for many years in the Learning Support Faculty of a secondary school. I volunteered to do dinner duties. This involved supervising the dining hall. From my own experiences in the UK, the school children did not show the same level of pride in their school and were generally unwilling to tidy away after themselves.

Take a look at the video below and feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Eating Habits in America in the 1900s

immigration

During the 1900s there were many changes to the foods that Americans ate in comparison to the Victorian era.  Many factors influenced these changes.  Here is an overview of the factors that influenced the food that was eaten in America during the 1900s.

Immigration

There was a great deal of immigration of people from all over the globe during this period.  They introduced new concepts, flavours, spices and ingredients that were not commonly used in American cooking or were never used. Majority of these immigrants moved to urban areas of America and some chose to set up businesses, often restaurants.  This brought multi-cultural food to the general public. For example, during the early twentieth century, many people came from Italy to America.  In 1905 in New York City, the first ever Italian Pizzeria was opened. 

Government Intervention

In 1906, the US government introduced the Food and Drugs Act.  This meant that all meat products were inspected as part of Federal Law.  Also, adulterated products could not be manufactured, sold or transported in America.

Home Economics Education

During the Victorian era, there was a huge push on educating young women in home economics and nutrition science, with the aim of improving people’s knowledge of health and nutrition.  This education continued into the early twentieth century and influenced ideas about food preparation, the use of ingredients and food safety. Many women who had studied the subject at school went out into the community to work closely with families, particularly those who were poor, to share their knowledge and educate others. 

Science and Technology

One of the greatest factors that changed the ways that Americans ate between 1900 and 1910 was the innovations of science and technology.  It was no longer necessary to eat only seasonal food as it could now be shipped in from other areas or grown in America.  The advances came in the form of increased transportation, better food preservation and improved food storage options.  The introduction of electricity in urban homes around this time also influenced how people stored and prepared their meals.

Business Expansion

During the 1900’s, the American market became flooded with new businesses and brands that were supplying food for the masses.  Many of these came in the form of tinned/ canned or dried foods.  Major names that came into play during this era, and are still well known today, include Quaker Oats and Campbell’s.