Climate change is altering people’s diet, according to Professor Barry Smit at the University Of Guelph, Canada. Professor Smit has conducted a research for the past five years on how melting ice and change in climate is affecting northern communities in Canada. One of his findings is a change in those communities diet. Loss of hunting grounds and changes in ice patterns are affecting the people in such way that they need to find a substitute nourishment for their diet, which usually consists of high carbon, easily transportable and storable food. Inevitable, this change in their diet has lead to some health problems, where high carbon food is not on their usual menu. A loss of identity is also mentioned as a concern where younger generations do not participate in traditional hunts. This is reported at the CNN website as an Earths Frontiers feature that was published on December 30th 2011 (see full article).
Unfortunately, this problem has been known for some time where loss of traditional hunting grounds are affecting northern communities, where loss of identify and traditional nutrition is changing theirs way of life. Pollutants have also been identified as a major problem since traditional food becomes inedible due to persistent toxics in the Arctic, which has lead to change in traditional diet in northerners lives. This has for example been identified in the Arctic Human Development report, which was published in 2004.
However there is no doubt that the Arctic is facing a major transformation, where people and animals need to adapt. Some of those changes are socio-economically positive, whilst other is not. Therefore there is a need to further identify those changes and measures need to be adopted in order to reduce the negative impact of changing climate.