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Enhancing food security in Alaska

Research Achievements

Enhancing food security in Alaska

Enhancing Food Security in Alaska. Several IGERT research projects intersect to link food security, food safety (particularly as affected by environmental contaminants), and the health and well-being of communities. Alaska imports about 95% of its food and has only a 5-day food reserve, indicating a food system highly vulnerable to potential disruption. The harvest of wild foods is culturally and nutritionally important but is affected by organic and inorganic contaminants that are transported to and become concentrated at high latitudes. Finally, the role of subsistence in the health and well-being of rural indigenous communities depends on availability of health care and opportunities for successful aging of Native elders that would allow (or disallow) them to remain within their communities rather than moving to regional health centers. Elders are the wisdom bearers in the communities and an important factor supporting the continued harvest and use of subsistence foods.