What happens to a vegetarian who moves to the Alaskan Frontier?
Eating Alaska is a serious and humorous film about connecting to where you live and eating locally. Made by a former city dweller now living on an island in Alaska and married to fisherman, deer hunter and environmental activist, it is a journey into food politics, regional food traditions, our connection to the wilderness and to what we put into our mouths.
In this quest for the "right thing" to eat, the filmmaker stops by a famer's market in the lower 48 stocked with fresh local fruits and vegetables and then heads back to Alaska, climbing mountains with women hunters, fishing for wild salmon and communing with vegans. She visits a grocery store with kids to study labels and heads to the Arctic to talk with Inupiat teens in a home economics class, making pretzels while they describe their favorite traditional foods from moose meat to whale blubber.
The postcard like scenery in Alaska may be a contrast to what most urban residents see everyday and the filmmaker may have gone into the wild, but she also finds farmed salmon, toxics getting into wild foods and the colonization of the indigenous diet.
Eating Alaska doesn't preach or give answers, but points out dilemmas in a style that provokes discussion on questions such as:
What is the ethical way to eat in Alaska-or anywhere?
Is it better to shoot a deer than buy tofu that has been shipped thousands of miles?
Where is your comfort level in taking a life for food?
This wry personal look at what's on your plate explores ideas about eating healthy, safe and sustainable food from one's own backyard, either urban or wild, versus industrially produced food shipped thousands of miles. Eating Alaska is also a thought-provoking resource for discussing our assumptions about gendered behavior and women's relationship to the natural world.
Recommended by educators as a teaching resource for courses in:
Food Security & Food Systems
Nutrition & Public Health
Oceanography & Fisheries
Philosophy & Ethics
Native American Studies
Women and Gender Studies