A typical arctic indigenous ethnicity is Eskimo people, who is believed originated from eastern Asia and then migrated to arctic area. They called themselves as Inuit, rather than Eskimo. The word Eskimo is called by American Indians, meaning "eaters of raw meat”. This word, although considered derogatory due to some conflicts between Eskimo and American Indians, somehow accurately reflects their lifestyle. Due to the extreme low temperature in arctic region, plants and trees can hardly survive. The species available there are mostly in tundra and boreal forests, which have low biodiversity and rare food resources compared to normal forests. Also, agriculture can hardly be developed because of the lack of heat and nutritious soil. If there is few plants can provide food for local people, then they must seek food from animals.Generally, Eskimo relied on sea mammals such as seals, for food, illumination, cooking oil and weapons throughout the year. Besides, they hunt reindeers, birds, fish and whales when it is not winter. Typically, those animals have a lot of fat and other nutrients that are crucial to local people. To receive the most of the nutrients from those animals, they decided to eat their raw meat, which has more nutrients and vitamins reserved compared to cooked meat. That is perhaps why they are called “eaters of raw meat” by American ...
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Besides reindeers, Eskimos also eat mammals including seals, polar bears, whales and a large number of fish. It is believed that their traditional diet is high in protein plus obtaining 75% energy from fat. Due to the cold weather, the only plants they can eat are grasses, tubers, roots, stems, berries, and seaweed, which were collected and preserved depending on the season and the location. Researches have found that they can get most of the vitamins from raw meat, therefore they can still survive well.
The people and animals have faced severe climate and living environment for thousands of years. It is really a miracle that they are still living well after fighting with poor living conditions for years. But, it has to be mentioned that arctic residences have roughly 10 years shorter life span compared to people living in normal areas of the world.
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