Traditional Food Studies

Intrinsik is a leading human health and ecological risk assessment (HHERA) firm in North America with significant expertise in the completion of Traditional Food Studies (sometimes referred to as country foods).  Our scientists have completed numerous food studies alongside First Nations across Canada.  Traditional foods are those foods harvested from both the land and water, and include fish, large and small game animals, sea mammals, birds and plants.  As part of these studies, Intrinsik evaluated risks from ingestion of harvested subsistence foods and provided assurances as to the quality and safety of locally sourced foods.

These projects can include an evaluation of traditional foods prior to industrial development to establish baseline food quality, or cases where industrial development has encroached on traditional harvesting territories.  The studies involve the submission of food samples by trained community harvesters and analysis of trace contaminants (both organic and inorganic) at accredited laboratories.  As well, they involve the integration of community consumption rates obtained through surveys and interviews of the community members.  The findings are typically presented in both oral and written form at community meetings and open houses.  Many of the studies completed have been approved through the Health Canada Research Ethics Board, with a number of studies funded through Health Canada.

Intrinsik scientists have delivered training courses on Traditional Food Quality Studies and their integration into Environmental Assessment to both Federal and Provincial Health Departments.  We also provide consultation to First Nations throughout the Environmental Impact Assessment Process regarding mitigation measures to protect traditional food quality.

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