Beluga health

Beluga health

In Northern cultures food is shared. When a whale is killed the community enjoys a bounty of healthy food from a single animal. Beluga meat, blubber and skin are prepared and eaten in many ways. Aging food is a traditional practice used to develop a desirable flavor. In the past, whale skin was used to cover boats and the oil from whale blubber was used for fueling lamps.

What do we know about beluga?

Beluga skin, meat, and blubber are eaten raw, aged, dried, cooked or boiled in soups and stews. Many people like the skin – maktaaq or muktuk – best. The skin can be eaten raw, aged or cooked and is also a favourite, as are the cartilage and bones near the flipper. A large beluga can provide up to 44 pounds of meat, 110 pounds of maktaaq and 66 gallons of oil.

Nutrients in beluga Beluga health

, The Recommended Dietary Allowancemounts are based on the needs Excellent, good and fair sources of nutrients have been standardized for any type of food source.

Except for the blubber, beluga is an excellent source of protein.

Protein keeps us healthy by building and repairing muscles, skin and blood.

Dried beluga meat is an excellent source of iron, providing all of the iron we need in one day from one serving. Iron helps make healthy blood that flows through our bodies, giving us energy to be active and grow strong. Healthy blood keeps us from getting tired.

Beluga liver, skin and blubber are excellent sources of vitamin A. One serving provides more than seven times the amount our bodies need. Vitamin A keeps our skin, bones and eyes healthy.

We can get important amounts of vitamins A, C, B and protein from the skin of maktaaq.

Prepare Foods Safely Beluga health

Botulism is a type of food poisoning. If food has botulism germs and is stored at warm temperatures in a container without air, these germs can grow into poison.

To prevent botulism poisoning, beluga should be aged in a very cool place. Store it in containers which allow air in. If the meat is being aged in oil, stir it often to let the meat contact the air.When preparing aged meat, follow the traditional ways to

avoid poisoning from botulism. Beluga health

Botulism can make people very sick and can cause death in some cases

. Botulism is not what creates the desirable flavor of aged food. Botulism bacteria produces no flavor or smell, so meat can be poisoned and you would not be able to tell.

If you need more information, contact local elders, the local Hunters and Trappers Association or the Health Centre.

Healthy Eating

Prepare foods in traditional ways to avoid too much added sugar, fat and salt. Mercury and other contaminants may be a concern when consuming certain traditional foods in specified regionsFor morei nformation contactCommunity  guidetotraveling Health RepresentativesRegistered DietitiansBand Office and Local ElderTerritorial Nutritionist, Department of Health and Social Services

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