Environmental contaminants

Environmental Contaminants


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What do we know about moose?

Moose are land-based animals. Land-based animals are less likely to build up high levels of contaminants than marine mammals (like beluga or ringed seal). Moose eat plants and are low on the food chain. Animals that do not eat other animals also tend to have low levels of contaminants.

Older moose may have higher levels of contaminants in their organs due to a process called bioaccumulation.

Moose have been sampled for contaminants in the NWT. Their meat consistently shows low levels of contaminants; however moose liver and kidney may have higher levels of certain contaminants, like cadmium. Cadmium is absorbed by plants that moose eat.

Moose is good for us!

Moose meat, liver, kidney and blood are all excellence sources of protein and iron. Protein is needed to build and repair all parts of the body. Iron is used to make healthy blood.

The meat and liver are also excellent sources of B vitamins, which help our bodies use energy from foods and are important for healthy skin, hair, nerves and muscles as well as healthy growth and development.

Is moose safe to eat?

Yes! Moose is safe to eat. It is also one of the healthiest foods available. The benefits of consuming moose are much greater than the risks of contaminant exposure. Moose liver and kidney may have higher levels of certain contaminants, like cadmium.

Check the GNWT Health and Social Services website for current consumption notices:

By following consumption advice, you can safely enjoy all traditional foods.

The most effective way to minimize exposure to cadmium is to stop smoking and to avoid second hand smoke.

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