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First Nations Food, Nutrition, and Environment Study

The First Nations Food, Nutrition, and Environment Study is a national scope study on the benefits and risks of food and water in First Nation communities. The study will gather information in 100 randomly selected First Nation communities across Canada about regarding current traditional and store bought food use and food security. The study team will also: test many traditional foods for nutrient values and environmental chemical hazards; test drinking water for heavy metals and surface water for pharmaceutical metabolites; and examine the body burden of mercury among First Nations people in remote communities.

Environmental changes are impacting the health and lifestyles of First Nations. Issues of particular significance and concern include:

• The conservation of traditional subsistence within sensitive environments; and
• Increasing contaminant levels in traditional food due to pollution; and,
• Nutrient deficiencies in individuals due to the reduction and quality of traditional food resources altered by degradation of the environment; and,
• Increasing occurrences of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease; and,
• Social, economic, and political forces affecting traditional lifestyles and access to traditional harvesting areas.

Using an ecozone sampling framework, the FNFNES aims to gather information with 100 randomly selected First Nation communities across Canada about:

• Current traditional and store bought food use
• Food security
• Test many traditional foods for nutrient values and environmental chemical hazards.
• Test drinking water for heavy metals and surface water for pharmaceutical metabolites
• To examine the body burden of mercury among First Nations people in remote communities.

Information resulting from this study is essential for the development of community-level dietary advice and food guidance for First Nations at a national level. The information on background exposures to Persistent Organic Pollutants, heavy metals and pharmaceutical products is also essential for First Nations as an enabling foundation for any future food monitoring at the community level.

FNFNES Brochure

FNFNES Presentation