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Cultural ‘big deal’: Seal oil makes menu at Alaska care home

By MARK THIESSEN Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Seal oil has been a staple in the diet of Alaska’s Inupiat for generations. But when elders entered nursing homes, they were cut off from the comfort food: State regulations kept it off the menu due to the rate of botulism associated with it. But that’s changing for 18 residents at an elder care facility in Kotzebue. The local health association worked with partners in Alaska and the Lower 48 to develop a process to kill the toxin in seal oil, and the state of Alaska has approved its use at elder care facilities — believed to be a first for seal oil in the U.S.

 


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