Subsistence, Life, and Culture
More than just food: family, fitness, identity, community, memory, spirit
Subsistence is the core of life of rural Alaska. The illustration at right shows foods used through the seasons, and how these seasons are changing.
What's a walrus worth?
The value of walrus and other subsistence foods is almost impossible to quantify, because these are so critical to sustaining culture and community.
In purely economic terms, though, a walrus provides about 500 pounds of high quality protein—the equivalent of approximately 800 beefsteak meals, which are less nutritious than walrus.
This amount of meat would also cost $6,000-$7,000 in rural Alaska—or about $12-$14 per pound—unaffordable for many rural residents.