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Thread: Siberian Nomad Diets

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    Siberian Nomad Diets

    What did the traditional nomadic groups in Siberia eat to get total nutrients if there was little to no vegetation in the harsh climate? I know they had reindeer and stuff but you can't just eat meat all the damn time. What else could they have possibly eaten in that weather?

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    I've spent my childhood in Magadan Region (300 km from the seacoast, so i think the climate is pretty close to Siberian). In summer you can always find many different kind of berries in forests... mushrooms, cones, sedge (осока) growing at marshes (yes, it's edible and I believe natives know much more kinds if edible plant) Salmon and of course caviar.

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    I don't think you mean caviar, I assume you mean fish eggs (Roe)? Caviar comes from Sturgeon who inhabit the Caspian Sea.
    Если враг в пределах досягаемости, то и вы тоже!


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    Quote Originally Posted by MashaSashina View Post
    I've spent my childhood in Magadan Region (300 km from the seacoast, so i think the climate is pretty close to Siberian). In summer you can always find many different kind of berries in forests... mushrooms, cones, sedge (осока) growing at marshes (yes, it's edible and I believe natives know much more kinds if edible plant) Salmon and of course caviar.
    Yes, in the summer. But what do you do in the winter? Granted, today we have transportation and what not. But what did people do when they had no means of transporting vegetation from longer distances?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetfart View Post
    Yes, in the summer. But what do you do in the winter? Granted, today we have transportation and what not. But what did people do when they had no means of transporting vegetation from longer distances?
    Pickling and salting. That's why so many more things are put in vinegar in Russia.They last longer in cold climates.

    EDIT: Possibly milk derived products that last longer than regular milk and preserved fruits.
    Last edited by martpark; 20-05-2011 at 10:55. Reason: More info.

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    Pemmican. Mix of dried deer meat, fat and... hm-m-m... berries of branchy cranberry...
    Quote Originally Posted by sweetfart View Post
    Yes, in the summer. But what do you do in the winter? Granted, today we have transportation and what not. But what did people do when they had no means of transporting vegetation from longer distances?

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    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...051302252.html

    It's about the diet on the Siberian tundra of today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TolkoRaz View Post
    I don't think you mean caviar, I assume you mean fish eggs (Roe)? Caviar comes from Sturgeon who inhabit the Caspian Sea.
    really? There is no "red caviar"? Salmon's eggs are just fish eggs? I didn't know, thank you.

    Sweetfart, for the winter with -40C freezing is an obvious decision to save products.

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    That was an interesting article, Ruth.

    I'm thinking that the inhabitants of these bitter cold climates, prior to modern day fast food and transportation, must have been very unhealthy in terms of lacking nutrients from vegetables then. Other than berries, it sounds like they lived mostly off meat. While meat is essential for protein, you still need vegetables, fruits, and fibers to have a completely healthy diet. I don't know how long they live on average.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetfart View Post
    Other than berries, it sounds like they lived mostly off meat. <...>I don't know how long they live on average.
    Yes. Meat, fat and berries. For centuries. 50 y.o. was super old person.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FatAndy View Post
    Yes. Meat, fat and berries. For centuries. 50 y.o. was super old person.
    Oh dang. I was getting excited for a moment because I thought maybe I had a chance of living long on that diet. I would like to live off fat and berries for the rest of my life.

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    Well, short length of living was mostly connected with risky hunting, a lot of parazites in the nature, no medical aid etc.
    During "times of damned tsarizm" there were some movements to improve, but crossed by bringing vodka to them. The issue is that these nations have lack of alcoholdehydrogenase (there was no natural selection by this because of no fermentation is available at low environmental temperatures) and they can't regulate consumation of alcohol, becoming alcoholics very quickly).
    During Soviet power there were sufficient improvements with medical aid, education, settlement etc., but vodka was not removed. After catastroika nobody needed them, and I'm afraid they will die out, because all positive things deteriorate, but vodka is continuing.
    Quote Originally Posted by sweetfart View Post
    Oh dang. I was getting excited for a moment because I thought maybe I had a chance of living long on that diet. I would like to live off fat and berries for the rest of my life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FatAndy View Post
    Well, short length of living was mostly connected with risky hunting, a lot of parazites in the nature, no medical aid etc.
    During "times of damned tsarizm" there were some movements to improve, but crossed by bringing vodka to them. The issue is that these nations have lack of alcoholdehydrogenase (there was no natural selection by this because of no fermentation is available at low environmental temperatures) and they can't regulate consumation of alcohol, becoming alcoholics very quickly).
    During Soviet power there were sufficient improvements with medical aid, education, settlement etc., but vodka was not removed. After catastroika nobody needed them, and I'm afraid they will die out, because all positive things deteriorate, but vodka is continuing.

    If you're talking about Buryats, Yakuts, etc...there were never many of them to begin with since such cold landscapes do not hold capacities for large populations. And I don't think lack of alcohol dehydrogenase (ALDH2 deficiency) is a cause of an alcoholic habit but rather the cause of getting drunk fast. Just because you get drunk fast does not mean you will develop a habit of being a prolonged alcoholic. The alcoholism in Siberia and the Far East is probably the result of economic depression and the same reasons the rest of Russia has alcoholism, not because of genetic predispositions. If that were true, all of East Asia would be alcoholics since most Asian ethnic groups, like the Yakuts, have a ALDH2 deficiency.

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    Not depression because at Northern parts of Siberia there was no economical infrastructure at all, besides Northern Ocean ports and military POP along Northern coast.
    But yes, if you have no possibilities to spend money besides alcohol...

    Just because you get drunk fast does not mean you will develop a habit of being a prolonged alcoholic. - not obviously but probability is higher.

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