Nutrition information for Alaskan subsistence animals

I want you all to know about a wonderful book published in 2008 by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium:  The “Traditional Food Guide for Alaska Native Cancer Survivors.” 

For zooarchaeologists, our main interest in the book comes from the excellent research into the amount of calories, protein, iron, fat, vitamins (and more!) attributed to various subsistence animals.  Each page is devoted to one animal species, and features it’s Native names, a blurb on location and hunting strategy, preparation, and nutrition information. 

Mammal species listed are: Beaver, Caribou, Hare, Moose, Musk Ox, Muskrat, Porcupine, Squirrel, Sea Lion, Seal, Walrus, Whale

Bird species listed are: Black Brant, Canada Goose, Crane, Duck, Ptarmigan

Fish/Mollusc species listed are: Abalone, Arctic Grayling, Black Cod, Blackfish, Clams, Cockles, Cod, Crab, Eulachon/Smelt, Flounder, Gumboots, Halibut, Herring, Lingcod, Octopus, Pike, Chum (Dog) Salmon, King (Chinook) Salmon, Pink (Humpback) Salmon, Red (Sockeye) Salmon, Silver (Coho) Salmon, Sea Cucumber, Shrimp, Sticklebacks, Trout, Whitefish

For you paleobotanists out there, the plant species listed are: Beach Asparagus, Blueberry, Cloudberry, Low Bush Cranberry, Crowberry, Eskimo Potato, Fiddlehead Fern, Fireweed, Goosetongue, Mouse Food (Roots), Salmonberry, Seaweed, Sea Lovage, Sourdock, Tundra Tea, Wild Celery, Wild Rhubarb, Chocolate Lilly (Wild Rice), Williow leaves, Stinkweed

Towards the end of the book is a nice description of the specific parts of a moose/caribou, and how they are traditionally prepared and eaten by the Koyukon Athabascans.

Additionally (and perhaps my favorite part) are the recipes at the back of the book:  these include such delcious items as “Caribou Stew,” “Beaver Pot Roast,” “Herring Egg Salad,” and everyone’s favorite, “Akutaq.” 

You can purchase this book directly from the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium’s website.  If you’re local to Anchorage, you can also usually find a copy at Titlewave or the Museum bookstore.


4 thoughts on “Nutrition information for Alaskan subsistence animals

  1. Hi Kelly! Thanks for posting about the book. I’m going to order it right away! The nutrition information will be awesome for my dissertation on prehistoric seasonal resource stress in Kodiak. I’ve been trying to find nutrition info on shellfish in AK, but it’s been hard to come by.

  2. Hi Molly! I’m glad you can use the book! I’ll keep an eye out for more nutritional info : ) I can’t wait to read your thesis, it sounds fascinating!

    • You can order it from the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium website, at []
      It’s a great book, hope you enjoy it!
      p.s. I’ll add my thesis info to my “me, myself and I” page

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