“First we eat, then we do everything else” – M.F.K. Fisher
First We Eat: Food Security North of 60 will celebrate the ingenuity, resourcefulness & knowledge of Northern Canadians and our relationship to the land through the food that we hunt, fish, gather, grow and raise in the North.
Whether you are concerned with community (knowing where your food comes from and valuing the land and the people who produce it), sustainability, the nutritional value of your food, a finite oil supply, carbon footprint or food costs and accessibility – food security is a topic of interest for many Northerners.
Suzanne Crocker, an award winning filmmaker and retired family doctor, plans to eat 100% local to her community of Dawson City, Yukon, for one full year starting mid summer 2017 – only eating food that can be grown, raised, gathered, hunted, trapped and fished in and around Dawson. In the process she will research the wealth of local food options available as well as the challenges and the possibilities for increasing local food security across the Canadian North.
Eating 100% local is, of course, entirely possible. A diet of wild meat, fish, berries, roots, and wild plants was the norm for thousands of years. Suzanne now wants to explore the extent of the possibilities if we combine wild foods with food that Northerners have been able to cultivate, raise, overwinter and breed.
The kitchen is not Suzanne’s ‘natural habitat’ and she is not a master gardener. Far from being an expert, Suzanne is more of a ‘blank page’. She hopes that by collaborating with northern expertise, traditional knowledge and local producers, her year will be successful.
Input is not only greatly appreciated, but necessary!
Suzanne’s family (husband and three kids aged 16, 14 and 11) are not overjoyed at the prospect. However one of Suzanne’s secret (ok, not so secret anymore!) challenges is to provide enough variety of delicious local meals and ready-made snacks for her family, that they feel no need to set up their own larder. At first, the novelty of seeing Suzanne in the kitchen might keep her family eating at home purely out of curiosity. Hopefully, the delicious foods she creates, with the help of Yukon chef Miche Genest and others, will have her family preferring meals at home over meals elsewhere! Dawson City can keep track of how well that’s going, by how often her family is spotted in local restaurants or in the grocery store aisles between August 2017 and July 2018!
Help out Suzanne by contributing recipes that can be adapted to include only items from her list of local ingredients!
Suzanne will keep track of her financial costs of eating 100% local and will monitor her health parametres over the year.
“I can google tips for growing celery or how to grow oats, but I will usually find a southern solution. I hope this project will become a sort of crowd-sourced guide to Northern food solutions—a place where northern knowledge and expertise is easily accessible and shareable, not just for me and my community but across the North.” – Suzanne.