Suzanne Crocker, an award winning filmmaker and retired family doctor, challenged herself to spend one year feeding her family only food local in Dawson City, Yukon – a remote Northern Canadian community at 64° north, 300 km south of the Arctic Circle – to contribute to the public conversation about food self-sufficiency.
This film is my story, told from my point of view, and the story of my community.
Ultimately it is a story about:
- struggling to create a better world for my kids
- imposing that struggle on my kids and my kids pushing back
- requiring community collaboration to eat and live well
I live in Dawson City, Yukon, a Northern Canadian community of 1500 people at 64 degrees North, 300 km south of the Arctic Circle, on the traditional territory of the Tr´ondëk Hwëch´in. Dawson is literally at the end of the road. The nearest Starbucks is 550 km away. We are dependent on a single road that connects us to the south – one road that trucks 97% of our food from thousands of kilometers away.
A few years ago, the only road into the Yukon was cut-off by a landslide. Grocery store shelves began to go bare within 48 hours. That was my wake up call. I started to pay attention to the labels on my food and noticed how far it had travelled. The implications of depending on food from afar gained new meaning. I learned that over 50% of the vitamins in fresh greens are lost within the first 5 days after picking. I questioned how much nutrition was left by the time it reached my plate.
I wondered if we, in Dawson, could produce enough food to feed ourselves. I decided the best way to research this question would be to try it. I would use myself and my family as guinea pigs. So, much to my family’s disgruntlement, I banished absolutely all grocery store food from our house for one year. First We Eat is the result.