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Indigenous Food Safety and Security: Community Adaptations in the Wake of Climate Pressures

Topics: Agriculture, Indigenous Environmental Health, Built Environment, Food, Water Location: General, Canada

As ecosystems try to adapt to climate volatility, so are Indigenous communities striving to become more food self-sufficient — both in reaction to and in anticipation of further climate pressures. This has led some communities to develop alternative food preservation and growing options, adaptations of their own that can help address limited financial resources or access to physical assets.

This review presents evidence on six unique food safety issues, based on adaptation measures taken or planned to be taken to help ensure food security:

  1. smokehouse construction considerations;
  2. gardening and the use of tires as planters;
  3. greywater use in crop irrigation;
  4. traditional preservation techniques (specifically sun and wind drying);
  5. treated timber and planter boxes; and
  6. hydroponic growing systems.

Each topic area section presents a detailed description of the inquiry context and concerns raised by the community, highlights specific practices that may cause potential food safety risks, and provides guidance on different possible interventions to minimize risks, which fall broadly into physical, chemical, or technological interventions. This review is meant to assist and guide individuals, Indigenous communities, and environmental health professionals to ensure healthy and sustainable food production, processing, and preservation techniques for improved food safety and security.

 

Publication DateFeb 27, 2019
Posted by NCCEHFeb 27, 2019