This is a story about living in McMurdo, told in 3 separate parts. This second installment of “A day in the life” will focus on one of the most common questions I get when I tell people about my work in Antarctica – What do you eat? So here it is: eating in McMurdo – where, what and when.

While on station we eat three meals a day in the Galley. The meals are served in a buffet style, but there are two grills where you can sometimes get a burger or eggs cooked how you like. Cereal, coffee, tea, pizza, cookies, and popcorn are available all of the time. There are almost never fresh foods in McMurdo and all food (fruits, vegetables, starches, or meats) come from frozen or dried supplies. We all long for fresh foods, or “freshies” as they are endearingly called here.


Ashley choosing from the dinner options on the buffet. Photo by: Tandra Fraser

Sunday brunch is the best meal of the week and all the stops are pulled out for this one. We have been lucky this year to get fresh cream on two separate Sundays (a generous gift from the New York National Guard) to have with our coffee for Sunday morning. If any freshies did exist on station, we would probably see them at Sunday brunch (so far, no such luck).


Ashley getting her Frosty Boy dessert. Look how happy! Photo by: Tandra Fraser

I couldn’t write a blog post about food without talking about frosty boy. Frosty boy is a staple in the Galley and his job is to keep morale high. Yes, our soft serve ice cream machine, complete with sidekicks of myriad sundae toppings, we love him.



Dinner time in McMurdo, taken in the Galley dining area. Photo by: Ashley Shaw

Eating while doing fieldwork is a different story. If you are on a day trip, you have to pack a lunch and snacks to bring with you. There are supplies for this in the Galley, but you must choose them and pack your lunches yourself. If you are staying overnight in the field, it’s your responsibility to plan your own meals and you should arrange to pick up some frozen and dried goods – the choices are up to you! Most established field camps have an indoor area for cooking and eating.

Check back tomorrow for the 3rd and final “day in the life” post. I will tell you a little bit about where we live, sleep, and what we do every day around station!

Written by: Ashley Shaw