GETTING CURIOUS | Are Plant-Based Diets For Everyone? with Dr. Aviaja Lyberth Hauptmann


We all need to eat. And we know that the choices we make with food are at once deeply personal and informed by systemic factors. As part of our ongoing exploration into global foodways, Dr. Aviaja Lyberth Hauptmann joins Jonathan to discuss the history, science, and culture of the animal-sourced Inuit diet. Listen in to learn more about Inuit fermented foods, how colonization has shaped what’s on shelves in Nuuk, and why you might want to pass on any papaya for sale in the Arctic. 

One note about this episode is that it does discuss hunting and fishing. If you’d like to skip it, we’d completely understand—but if you are able to listen, there’s so much to learn from Dr. Hauptmann.

Aviaja L. Hauptmann, PhD., is an Inuk microbiologist, Assistant Professor and public debater from Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland). Her research centers the strengths of the animal-sourced Indigenous diet of Inuit. For the past four years, her research focus has been the human and microbial culture of Inuit foods and their role in food sovereignty. 

If this episode left you hungry for more, visit Aviaja’s project page on Instagram @asi_inuit_microbiology_lab!

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Jonathan is on Instagram and Twitter @JVN and @Jonathan.Vanness on Facebook.

Transcripts for each episode are available at

Our executive producer is Erica Getto. Our associate producer is Zahra Crim. Our editor is Andrew Carson.

Our theme music is “Freak” by QUIÑ; for more, head to

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness