Generally, an adult human consumes around 1,600 to 3,000 calories daily. But in colder climates, people need to eat more: Keeping our warm-blooded bodies warm requires a lot of energy. In Antarctica, it’s so cold that the average person needs to consume between 3,200 and 5,000 calories a day (watch out, Michael Phelps). And because the continent is frozen, no food grows there naturally. So how does the population of scientists and support personnel, hundreds of whom every year visit Antarctica’s largest research base, McMurdo Station, stay fed?
Throughout their one-month stay in Antarctica, hosts Caitlin Saks and Arlo Perez discover the secret sauce of Antarctic cooking from experts at McMurdo Station’s galley (Hint: Need to reconstitute a meal? Just add cheese! Need to keep that cheese beyond its expiration date? That’s what freezers are for) and from scientists at remote research sites. And to learn about the history of Antarctic food storage, they tour Robert Falcon Scott and his 1910-1913 Terra Nova Expedition team’s historically-preserved hut.
Along the way, Caitlin and Arlo discover the glory of 24/7 pizza and “freshies,” the cardboard-like texture of a protein bar several years past its expiration date, and the true meaning of “eat your vegetables.”