Inuit Food Insecurity in Canada
Far too many Canadian Inuit struggle with food insecurity. Food insecurity exists when a person does not have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. This can range from not having the ability to afford a balanced diet, to not being able to eat culturally acceptable foods, to missing meals or not eating for days at a time. Food insecurity is a serious public health concern because of its close ties to a person’s well-being.
Adults in food insecure households tend to have poorer physical and mental health, including higher rates of heart disease, diabetes and depression. Food insecurity also has very negative consequences for children’s cognitive, academic and psychosocial development. For Inuit, the impacts of food insecurity also extend to cultural well-being because of the continued importance of country foods such as seal, whale, and fish harvested from the local environment.