Muskox are found on Arctic coasts and islands with sightings in the Sahtu and Mackenzie Delta regions. Muskox are harvested by a quota system to protect the number of animals. People hunt muskox for food and use the thick hides for blankets and rugs. The inner wool or qiviut of the muskox is used for weaving and knitting. These woven goods bring high prices because the wool is very soft and warm.
What do we know about muskox?
Muskox is an important food source for communities who rely on this traditional food. Muskox provides important nutrients for health, such as protein and iron. The parts of the muskox eaten most are the meat, fat, bone marrow, tongue and heart.
Nutrients found in muskox
|Nutrients Content per Serving||
Meat, raw (90 g)
Fat, raw (90 g)
|An excellent food source means it supplies 25% or more of a nutrient per day||
|A good source supplies 15 - 24% of a nutrient per day||Vitamin A||Vitamin D|
|A fair source supplies 5 - 14% of a nutrient per day||Vitamin A|
- 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?
- is an excellent source of protein. Protein keeps us healthy by building and repairing our muscles, skin and blood.
- is an excellent source of iron. Iron helps make healthy blood that flows through our bodies, giving us energy to be active and grow strong. Healthy blood keeps us from getting tired.
- is an excellent source of B vitamins. B vitamins are important for growth and healthy skin, hair, nerves and muscles.
- Muskox meat is low in fat (17%) compared to beef, pork or chicken (35 - 55%). Traditional animal fats are healthier for us.
- Muskox fat is a good source of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps keep our bones and teeth healthy.
Prepare Foods Safely
Brucellosis is a naturally occurring disease caused by bacteria. It is found in caribou, muskox and reindeer. Infected animals may show signs of swollen joints or body parts. The chances of getting brucellosis from an infected animal are low, but can occur. Follow these steps if you are handling a muskox that might be infected with brucellosis:
- wear gloves
- do not touch diseased parts
- wash your hands with soap and water after handling the animal
- boil your knife and other tools after butchering
- do not eat any diseased parts of the muskox
- make sure the meat is well cooked
- do not feed diseased parts to dogs
Prepare foods in traditional ways to avoid too much added sugar, fat and salt. Ground muskox meat makes great burgers and sausage. Try a meal of muskox, potatoes, cabbage, fruit (frozen or canned when fresh is not in season) and a glass of water.
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
- Environmental Health Officers