“First we eat, then we do everything else” – M.F.K. Fisher
Putting food sovereignty to the test in the far North of Canada – filmmaker Suzanne Crocker, living just 300 km from the Arctic Circle, removes absolutely all grocery store food from her house.
For one year, she feeds her family of five, only food that can be hunted, fished, gathered, grown or raised around Dawson City, Yukon on the traditional territory of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in.
Add three skeptical teenagers, one reluctant husband, no salt, no caffeine, no sugar and -40 temperatures.
Ultimately the story becomes a celebration of community and the surprising bounty of food that even a tiny community in the far North can provide.
First We Eat celebrates 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 sovereignty is a topic of interest for many of us.
The kitchen was not Suzanne’s ‘natural habitat’ and she was not a master gardener. Far from being an expert, Suzanne considered herself more of a ‘blank page’. By collaborating with northern expertise, traditional knowledge and local producers, Suzanne hoped she would succeed.
Check out “What Can I Do?” to find out what you can do to start eating more locally and support a strong local food ecosystem in your community.
Watch First We Eat. See the trailer here.
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Suzanne's list of available local ingredients:
Moose (all parts)
Chicken (all parts)
Boar/pig (all parts)
Caribou (all parts)
Chum salmon (incl salmon eggs)
Milk, cream, Yogurt, Butter
Small amount of barley
Small amount of rye
Small amount of Red Fife wheat
Low bush cranberries
High bush cranberries
Blueberries (a few)
Apples (a few precious apples!)
Bunchberry/Dogwood berry (for its pectin)
Golden Berry/Ground Cherry (a few precious berries)
Sour Cherry (a few precious cherries)
Vegetables (can store fresh year round):
Vegetables (can store frozen, dried or canned):
A few Sweet Peppers
A few Hot Peppers
Cucumbers as fermented pickles
Seasonal only vegetables:
Cucumbers - fresh
Corn (a few precious cobs)
Celery Leaf dried (as salt)
Nasturtium pods dried (as pepper)
Wild Rose Petals
Willow catkins - the sweet ones!
Sugar beet syrup
Sugar beet sugar
Sourdough starter made from juniper berries
15 Replies to “About”
What a fantastic endeavour.
I am really interested to see the final costs of that kind of living, because I want to consume more local, but when I have to pay double the price to have less quantity, it is hard to see the advantage, except of better health products but at the end, I need to eat first within my budget 😉
Not sure what was the total cost if eating local in Dawson city, but is it even possible to compare it with the cost of “normal” grocery store diet when the true cost of imported food is hidden? It dure doesn’t inclue the cost of poisoned water, air, destroyed forests and animals to make room for industrial farms.
The Rockefeller Foundation (USA) and the Sustainable Food Trust (UK) have done an analysis and conclude that the true cost of food is 2-3 times what we pay at the grocery store. Here’s a quick video from the Sustainable Food Trust that illustrates this:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVTLLrP9uOg
Following from my home in Redmond, Washington state. Kudos to you and your family for your efforts in exploration, invention, creativity, science, and unique parenting!
Hi I give you a challenge…Eat only local north fruits.. berries,etc.. take alll your calories in the fruits:9
Wow! I am am inspired by your will and determination to even attempt this journey. Love the idea and looking forward to seeing updates and outcomes!
Many thanks Chris.
What an amazing family! I live in Saskatchewan…at some point will I be able to view this documentary?
We expect First We Eat will be available more widely across the country this Fall. If you would like to sign up for notifications, we can let you know by email when it is available for viewing in Saskatchewan!
Hi Melissa. Just wanted you to know that you can now watch First We Eat from SK from home by going here:
Also DVD’s are now available here: https://firstweeat.ca/buy-dvd/ (in case you are looking for Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers!
Do you have an on-line source for renting your movie or purchasing it?
I’m sorry this comment from last year was missed. But, if it is still of interest, there is now a way to rent or purchase First We Eat online, within Canada, at vimeo on demand:
Wow, what an incredible journey you must have had! I am so impressed you made this work and would love to watch the full film. Are there any plans to make this for purchase to watch online? I see it playing at our local theatre but we’re unable to get there due to the pandemic. Greetings from Vancouver!
Hi Kim. You can still support a Vancouver theatre and watch the film from home here:https://www.viff.org/Online/default.asp?BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::permalink=fc10516-first-we-eat DVD’s also available here:https://firstweeat.ca/buy-dvd/
For folks in other parts of Canada, choose any of the options that say “Virtual” to watch from home from anywhere in Canada: https://firstweeat.ca/current-screenings/
Hope you enjoy the film and, if you do, feel free to spread the word!