About

“First we eat, then we do everything else” – M.F.K. Fisher

 
First We Eat:  Food Security North of 60 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 security is a topic of interest for many Northerners. Suzanne Crocker, an award winning filmmaker and retired family doctor, set out to feed her family 100% local to her community of Dawson City, Yukon, for one full year starting mid summer 2017. During that period she only ate food that can be grown, raised, gathered, hunted, trapped and fished in and around Dawson.   In the process she researched 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 wanted 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 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, her year was successful. Suzanne’s family (husband and three kids aged 17, 15 and 11) were not overjoyed at the prospect.  However one of Suzanne’s challenges was to provide enough variety of delicious local meals and ready-made snacks for her family, so they did not feel the need to set up their own larder.  The delicious foods she created, with the help of celebrated Yukon chef Miche Genest and others, contributed to the success of the year of eating only locally.
First We Eat still welcomes contributions of recipes that can be adapted to include only items from our list of local ingredients! 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. The documentary film about Suzanne’s year eating only local foods is targeted for completion in 2019. Meanwhile, you can view a sneak peek of the trailer here.

Suzanne’s list of available local ingredients:

Meat:
Moose (all parts)
Chicken (all parts)
Boar/pig (all parts)
Caribou (all parts)
Mutton/Wild Sheep
Turkey
Grouse
Rabbit

Fish:
Chum salmon (incl salmon eggs)
Grayling
Burbot
Pike

Dairy:
Milk, cream, Yogurt, Butter
Cream cheese
Cheese
Ice cream

Eggs

Grains:
Small amount of barley
Small amount of rye
Small amount of Red Fife wheat
Lambsquarter/pigsweed

Fruit:
Low bush cranberries
High bush cranberries
Rosehips
Crowberries
Saskatoon berries
Haskap berries
Black currents
Blueberries (a few)
Apples (a few precious apples!)
Raspberries
Rhubarb
Strawberries
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):
Potatoes
Carrots
Cabbage
Kolrabi
Onions
Garlic
Celeriac Root
Rutabaga
Turnip
Beets
Celeriac Root
Spaghetti Squash
Salsify

Vegetables (can store frozen, dried or canned):
Tomatoes
Kale
Spinach
Swiss chard
Broccoli
Romanesco
Cauliflower
Zucchini
Celery
Peas
Pumpkin
Hubbard Squash
Butternut Squash
A few Sweet Peppers
A few Hot Peppers
Cucumbers as fermented pickles
Horseradish

Seasonal only vegetables:
Lettuce
Green onions
Cucumbers – fresh
Radish
Bok Choy
Mustard Greens
Sorrel
Corn (a few precious cobs)

Herbs:
Lovage
Basil
Dill
Mint
Thyme
Oregano
Cilantro/coriander
Marjoram
Rosemary
Parsley
Sage
Savory
Lemon Balm
Chives/Green Onions
Garlic Scapes
Celery Leaf dried (as salt)
Nasturtium pods dried (as pepper)

Wild plants:
Fireweed
Bear Root
Juniper berries
Spruce tips
Labrador tea
Wild Sage
Colts foot
Stinging Nettle
Yarrow
Dandelion
Chickweed
Wild Rose Petals
Mushrooms
Chaga
Strawberry Blite
Plantain
Chamomile
Willow catkins – the sweet ones!

Sweetener:
Birch syrup
Honey
Stevia
Sugar
Sugar beet syrup

Thickener:
Potato starch
Yellow dock
Birch and Alder Catkins (if not allergic)

Fats:
Butter
Moose lard
Pig fat

Misc:
Kephir
Sourdough starter

6 Replies to “About”

  1. 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 😉

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

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