The world is going through uncertain and uneasy times. As consumers, businesses, and governments navigate uncharted territory, the importance of staying healthy, supporting local industry, and caring for the environment have hit home in a whole new way.
Eating sustainably sourced, top-quality Canadian seal meat is one step you can take toward meeting all three of these goals. Read on for some food for thought, and see how your decision to include seal meat in your diet can have a broad impact on you and beyond.
Eat well, stay healthy
Seal meat is organic, lean protein. As part of a balanced diet, seal meat can help build muscle, repair tissue, boost immune system function and red blood cell formation, and increase energy metabolism—and who doesn’t need that these days?
Specifically, seal meat is packed with zinc, iron, magnesium, and B12 and other vitamins. In fact, it may be one of the best food sources of iron available: one 100g serving of seal loin contains more than 200% of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of iron. Iron deficiency anemia affects almost a third of the world’s population, including over 10% of Canadian women of reproductive age.
That same 100g serving of seal also provides 25% of the RDI of magnesium and 40% RDI of zinc.
Rich in protein (23g or more per 100g serving) while low in cholesterol and fat (and carb-free), seal meat is ideal for weight loss, cardiovascular health, and training. It’s Keto-friendly, too.
For your pet’s health
Seal meat is wild game, free from antibiotics and hormones, and raised far away from confined feedlots and overcrowded farms. Seals eat fish and seafood their whole lives, not commercial grain-filled animal feed. The same high-protein content, nutrient density, and good fats that are good for you are also good for your pet dog.
Omega-3 fats, so abundant in seal meat, help maintain your dog’s healthy skin and shiny coat; omega-3s have also been shown to reduce shedding, allergic reactions, and joint pain. Seal is an ideal meal topper, and can be a great motivator during training—even the fussiest dogs love a seal meat treat!
Buy Canadian, support local
Canada boasts a healthy, secure, growing population of wild seals. In fact, harp seals and grey seals are so abundant that there are concerns about over-population. Even so, the Canadian seal hunt is no different than any other well-managed wild-game harvest: the government sets annual quotas, and regulates and monitors the hunt. Those who participate in the seal hunt are trained and licenced in the latest humane harvesting methods.
It is important to note that most seal hunters live in small communities in Canada’s north and on the east coast—by buying Canadian seal meat, you are supporting the livelihoods of those who live in these areas. The seal hunt has a deep history and is culturally significant to many Canadians, particularly Canada’s Indigenous peoples and outport coastal communities.
Care for your world
Every time you choose seal meat over factory farmed meat you are supporting sustainable industry. Seals live freely in nature—in icy seawater—away from chemicals, antibiotics, and mass-produced animal feed. Harvesting seal meat requires less energy and creates much less pollution than farming.
It also results in much less waste. Today, all parts of the seal are used: meat, oil, and skin (fur and leather). The same certainly cannot be said for most farming operations.
For the love of seal
The health and environmental benefits of eating seal are huge—but it’s also delicious! Depending on jurisdiction, seal meat may be officially classified as fish or meat, but high-quality seal meat has no fishy taste. Prepared properly, it has been compared to beef filet mignon.
Try seal loin or flipper, or seal products including sausage, burgers, or smoked seal meat. Seal can be prepared much like any other game meat. As it is an extremely lean meat, when cooking the loin, be careful not to overcook. As for the flipper, it must be braised for several hours.
Here are some recipes to get you started: