Wordly Nutrition Series: Antartcica

Welcome to The Health Junction’s series on Worldly Nutrition!  Over the next week, we’ll be featuring each of the 7 continents with a profile of the nutritional habits and trend of each region.  If you’re a traveler, please send me your comments on anything you have noticed while abroad – nothing paints a better picture than a first hand account.

I thought Antarctica would be a great first stop on our journey around the world because it’s such a mystery to most of us.  Back in the day when I worked in a soul crushing job, I use to take breaks during the day and mentally escape to different countries around the world via the Lonely Planet website which is where I learned a little about Antarctica.

Antarctica is located in the Southern Hemisphere below the tip of Chile and has at most, a population of 3000 people.  It’s about twice as large as Australia and all but 1% is covered in ice 2 km’s deep.  It’s windy, cold, and isolated.  Most of those who live in Antarctica are conducting studies at the various stations in the region.

Norweigian Research Station in Antarctica

The fact that most inhabitants of Antarctica are the doing research means that food is shipped in with them from their native country or from places “nearby” such as Argentina and Chile.  Here are some interesting nutritional trends that are commonplace in Antarctica:

  • Non-perishables take up a high percentage of a researchers diet which largely consists of frozen, tinned, or dried foods.
  • Food is often fortified to ensure that essential nutrients are eaten and absorbed.
  • A common complaint from those who live in antarctica is that the food is bland and somewhat boring.
  • At some research stations, fresh veggies are grown in hydroponic system what includes a base of water with nutrients mixed in.
  • Researchers report feeling the need to eat more in order to stay warm and full.
  • It can be a challenge to eat healthily out in the field (away from a research station) because food freezes almost instantly.

Come back tomorrow for a stop in South America!

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