ANMC serves herring eggs, celebrates traditional foodsMay 13, 2016
For years, Alaska Native leaders negotiated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for permission to serve traditional foods to those who could really benefit from their healing and comforting effects. ANTHC has long been at the forefront of advocating for the positive aspects of harvesting and eating traditional foods- and permission to serve them to our patients and visitors at the Alaska Native Medical Center.
In 2013, a bill from former Alaska U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, named the “The Traditional Foods Nourishment Act of 2013” passed, making it easier to serve Alaska Native foods in facilities like hospitals, schools, childcare and eldercare facilities.
As of last week, ANMC is now offering herring eggs on our inpatient menu. Patients can order herring eggs on kelp, served cold with a choice of mayonnaise, soy sauce or olive oil. To celebrate this special occasion and introduce our new traditional food menu item, ANMC Executive Chef Amy Foote prepared a special herring egg salad to serve to our patients, made with spinach, carrots, green onions, radishes, tomatoes, mayonnaise and fresh lemon zest and juice.
“At ANMC, we believe in the healing power of traditional foods,” said Foote. “These foods heal not only the body, but also the mind and spirit.”
ANMC cafeteria staff visited the patient floors and offered our patients the special treat. Faces lit up and people asked for seconds. Many staff also asked for a taste.
The herring eggs for the salad came from Kake Captain Jeff Jackson and friends, who harvested the eggs on hemlock branches in the waters off Sitka. The Sitka Tribe helped provide Jackson’s vessel, Lady Louise, along with the other captains who functioned as crew members to assist in the harvest.
A special thank you to Captain Jackson, friends and the Sitka Tribe.