Reports on fermented, animal-sourced foods made by Inuit around the circumpolar North have lacked ... Atuaruk
Reports on fermented, animal-sourced foods made by Inuit around the circumpolar North have lacked consideration for their unique microbiota and the geo-socio-cultural contexts in which they are made, often resulting in reinforced negative stereotypes. Deficit-based approaches to studying Inuit fermented foods overlook the fact that they have long been considered healthy and integral to Inuit diets. Inuit have deep knowledge on the harvesting, preparation, sharing, and consumption of fermented foods that research efforts must learn from and acknowledge. Our preliminary research into Inuit animal-sourced fermented foods expands current knowledge about the microorganisms needed to make them, and points to a potential to understand how these and other fermented foods impact the human gut microbiome. We provide recommendations for microbiological research on Inuit fermented foods that centers Inuit knowledge within the specific geographic, social, and cultural contexts in which these foods are made.