The Beaver is valued because it has the gift of intelligence. “It is the Beaver who taught the Dene how to store and ration food,” said George Blondin in 1991. Beaver provides us with many important nutrients such as protein and iron. The hide and bones are used for footwear, mitts, jackets and traditional tools. The beaver is valued for medicinal purposes and used for bait.
What do we know about beaver?
Beaver meat from the shoulder is very tough because of the large logs the beaver carries. Tails are singed or smoked under dry willows and used for snacks, especially when travelling.
Nutrients found in beaver
|Nutrients Contents per Serving||Meat, roasted (35g)||Liver, raw (75g)||Tail, roasted (75g)||Feet, roasted (75g)|
|An excellent food source means it supplies 25% or more of a nutrient per day||Protein
|A good source supplies 15 - 24% of a nutrient per day||Iron||Protein|
|A fair source supplies 5 - 14% of a nutrient per day||Potassium||Iron|
- Reference Serving Sizes are from Canada’s Food Guide (dried = 35g, cooked = 75g, raw = 90g).
- The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) amounts are based on the needs of a 14 – 18 year old girl.
- Excellent, good and fair sources of nutrients have been standardized for any type of food source.
Did you know?
- Beaver meat is an excellent source of protein. We need protein to build and repair muscles, skin and blood. Protein keeps us healthy.
- Beaver liver is an excellent source of vitamin A. One serving provides all of the vitamin A we need in a day to keep us healthy. Vitamin A is needed for healthy skin, bones and eyes.
- Beaver liver is also an excellent source of iron and provides twice as much iron as we need in a day. Iron helps make healthy blood that flows through our bodies, giving us energy to be active and to grow strong. Healthy blood keeps us from getting tired.
- Beaver meat is very low in fat (10%) when compared to beef, pork and chicken (33 – 55% fat) but the feet and tail contain a lot of fat. Traditional fats are healthier for us.
- Grams of fat in beaver parts per serving:
- Meat = 1 gram of fat
- Feet = 20 grams of fat
- Tail = 32 grams of fat
Prepare Foods Safely
- Use safe food handling practices – wash your hands and equipment.
- Eat meat only when properly cooked, dried, or aged.
- To store meat, use only clean containers or bags made for FOOD storage.
|Meat||How to Store||Refrigerator||Freezer|
|Raw||Store Separately||1 – 2 days||4 – 12 months|
|Cooked||Store separately from raw||Reheat cooked meat only once/ keep for 3 days||1 - 3 months|
Prepare foods in traditional ways to avoid too much added sugar, fat and salt. Aging, drying, or roasting are healthy ways to cook traditional meats. Beaver tails have a lot of fat in them so they are usually dried and smoked to eat as snacks. Have water to drink with your meal or snack.
Hunting and fishing for a healthy lifestyle
Getting out on the land is part of our northern way of life. It is great to be active. Hunting, fishing, gathering, and eating traditional foods helps keep us healthy.
For more information contact:
- Community Health Representatives
- Registered Dietitians
- Band Office and Local Elders
- Territorial Nutritionist, Department of Health and Social Services