Experts sound warning on looming food crisis in the North

‘Nutrition transition’ creates health hazards
Panel member David Natcher, the director of the Indigenous Land Management Institute at the University of Saskatchewan, said much of the problem of food insecurity has to do with the logistical difficulties of getting healthy food to isolated northern towns.

“You can look at cost, for example,” he said, outlining how healthy food in a Yukon city like Whitehorse (population 27, 889) costs less than half what it does for a remote Yukon community like Old Crow (population 267.)

“The average cost of groceries for a household in Nunavut is approximately $19,700 per year, yet 49 per cent of Inuit in these regions earn less than $20,000 per year,” Natcher said. “Obviously if all of their income is going toward securing a healthy food basket, there are enormous challenges.”

One consequence of the high cost of food is that many families are forced to buy the cheapest food possible at stores, leading to what Kuhnlein calls “a nutrition transition.”

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This article was originally published on April, 11, 2014 by Brian Platt.

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