Country Foods

Country Foods

Nunavummiut have two sources of nutritious food: store-bought foods and country foods.

Country foods are healthy. To provide families and communities with healthy foods, Nunavut hunters and fishers harvest caribou, musk ox, ducks, ptarmigan, beluga whales, arctic char, and other wild foods. Country foods also include berries and edible plants harvested from the land. A traditional diet of only country foods used to provide a balanced diet; however, more and more people now depend on store-bought foods.

Fats in sea animals have many benefits.  Whales, seal, char and walrus have high amounts of healthy fats. These fats are not like the fats in store-bought meat like bacon, bologna, deli meats and hamburger. Store-bought meats and fats like lard, shortening and butter contribute to heart disease and stroke.   

To make it easier for more Nunavummiut to have access to country foods the Government of Nunavut supports a Country Food Distribution Program. Hamlets, hunters and trappers’ organizations, non-profit corporations and societies can apply to the Government of Nunavut for assistance. These organizations can get money to pay harvesters for country food to be distributed free to hungry people. Funding can also pay for the establishment and operation of a country food market and community freezers.


Inuit Traditional Foods: Nutrition Fact Sheet Series