Around the World in 80 Plates: McMurdo Station, Antarctica

McMurdo Station is a U.S. research center in Antarctica that houses the largest community on the continent—the population can reaches over 1,000 people in the summer—and a lot of logistics go into feeding employees in the actual middle of nowhere. It’s cold all the time on Antarctica! The average annual temperature is only ZERO degrees Fahrenheit, and the sun rises and sets once a year, leaving either 24-hours a day of sunshine or darkness, depending on the season.

They get shipments once, or maybe twice a year when the ice breaking cargo ships can get through, and during the summer, the sometimes receive fresh food called ‘freshies’ on planes from Christchurch, New Zealand, with dairy, fresh fruit and vegetables, and eggs. If the weather is good and the planes come on time, they can get fresh food once a week, though sometimes it will be delayed or cancelled.

If you feel like you’re on Antarctica this winter when its sunny, but freezing cold outside, you can cook like you’re there! An easy recipe you can make on a cold snowy day is this warming Lasagna Soup, made from dry or canned foods, just like they get on the bottom of the planet.

If you want to work on Antarctica, there are a lot of jobs you could do: Scientific research is performed at and near McMurdo in aeronomy, astrophysics and geospace sciences, biology and ecosystems, geology and geophysics, glaciology, geomorphology, ice cores, and ocean and climate systems. There are also jobs that support the researchers like kitchen and dining room jobs, vehicle mechanics and maintenance, hairstyling, waste management, and all sorts of other work that needs to be done in one of the most remote places in the world. Just make sure you have warm clothes and fuzzy socks to wear!

Whether you’re going to work in Antarctica someday or not, you can bundle up and play outside, just like the penguins that live down under! They waddle, walk, play, and swim no matter the weather. They love snow, and can hike up to 50 miles! They must do lots of exercises!

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