“Among the Eskimo--the most widely distributed race of arctic aborigines the dependence on vegetable food varies from group to group according to tradition and according to what plants are available in the area occupied by them; thus, to the most northerly tribes the use of vegetable food is purely incidental and largely limited to the partly fermented and pre-digested content of the rumen of caribou and muskoxen, whereas in the diet of the Eskimo of southwestern Greenland, Labrador, and western and southwestern Alaska, vegetable food constitutes a regular, if not very large, item.”
"Thus Weyer (1932) estimated that in the diet of the Eskimo of the Bering. Sea region vegetable food constituted no more than 5 per cent; among the Central Canadian Eskimo Stefansson (1914) and Jenness (1928) noted that it was scarcely used at all; in Greenland the part played by vegetable food has always been unimportant, except from a dietary point of view."
“Twenty-five years ago, I found that only a small number of plants was used by the Eskimo of northwestern Alaska. Among the more important were the leaves of Saxifraga punctata, the leaves and flowering axes of marshfleabane (Senecio congestus) and coltsfoot (Petasites frigiqys), all of which were made into a form of “sauerkraut” mixed with blubber; the root tubers of Eskimo potato (Claytonia tuberosa) and those of the vetch (Hedysaruvzalpinum) were gathered in considerable quantities and used during the winter cooked as a vegetable with meat. Of the several kinds of berries used, cloudberry or baked-apple (Rubus Chamamorus) and crowberry (Empetrum) were the most favoured. Both were eaten fresh or preserved frozen in sealskin bags.”
“A number of edible species of seaweed or marine algae occur along rocky shores of the arctic seas and several are used regularly, if mostly in times of scarcity, by the Eskimo. In Greenland, several species, including Rhodymenia palmata and Laminaria spp. [kelps] are eaten raw, dipped in boiling water or with seal oil. Rodahl (1950) estimated that 50 per cent of the vitamin C intake of the east Greenland Eskimo is derived from marine algae.”
“The recent investigations by Rodahl (1944) and others, of the vitamin content of arctic plants, have demonstrated too, that it is just those arctic plants that are eaten by preference by nearly all arctic tribes, that have the highest content of ascorbic acid as well as of thiamine [emphasis added], and that the methods of preparation and of storing of vegetable foods used by these people are perhaps the best possible in the circumstances for the preservation of vitamins.”
“The diet of the Eskimos is almost exclusively of animal origin. The total portion that is directly vegetable is very small. The food plants growing in the vicinity of the villages indicated that but little had been gathered.”
“Among monocotyledons, products of three species are consumed. The enlarged farinaceous [starchy] bases of a sedge, Carex sp., are called mouse food from the custom of robbing the nest of field mice (Microtis), which gather them for winter food. In some places fish is placed in the mouse nests so that the mice may live through the winter and be able to store a new supply of the sedge the following year.”
Looking at the best case scenario Eskimo diet above, I estimate its pH residue as follows (fat is neutral so we can ignore it):
280g sardines @ 13.5 mEq per 100g = +38
196g venison @ ~8 mEq per 100g = +16 (used beef, venison not in database)
50g liver @ ~14 mEq per 100g = +7 (used veal liver, walrus liver not in database)
148g blueberries @ ~ –6.5 mEq = –10 (used black currants, blueberries not in database)
105g dandelion greens @ ~ –2.0 = –2 (used chicory, dandelion not in database)
Net +49 mEq, acidic.
At this point, still wonder if nutrient deficiencies can alone account for the uniquely high occurence of type II bone remodeling in the Eskimos. More on that in an upcoming post.