Food SecurityStudying the connection between changes in our environment and traditional food and water sources
Many individuals and families in Alaska rely on subsistence activities for food and nutrition. The warming climate is causing changes to our environments, which impact traditional food and water sources. Strong oceanic and atmospheric currents worldwide transport chemicals, pesticides and contaminants that are produced, used and disposed of at lower latitudes to the waters in the Arctic. These contaminants eventually enter the food chain and make their way to wildlife species that are our traditional food sources.
To address these concerns, ANTHC’s Community Environment and Health program offers training through the 7 Generations Education Program. It also provides sampling and monitoring of water sources and traditional foods for contaminants and disease causing microorganisms using two different monitoring programs:
Rural Alaska Monitoring Program (RAMP)
The Rural Alaska Monitoring Program is an EPA grant funded monitoring program, operated by ANTHC in partnership with Kawerak, Inc. and the communities of the Bering Strait region. RAMP provides training to residents who wish to participate in testing their subsistence-harvested marine and land mammals and traditional water sources for wildlife infections that might be a risk. Communities can elect to participate and submit a resolution requesting to participate in the RAMP study.
Maternal Organics Monitoring Study (MOMS)
In response to a concern of the people from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region, the Maternal Organics Monitoring Study was developed to determine contaminants present in residents that regularly consume traditional foods. It is a monitoring study aimed at Alaska Native mothers and their newborn infants who are most likely to be exposed through a subsistence diet. The results of the MOM Study also show the benefit of the nutrients in the traditional diet and their health benefits to mothers and infants.