There is a place where there is no green anywhere. No plants, no trees, no broccoli. Just penguins. And weather that could freeze the heart out of the Snow Queen. That place is Antarctica. But as foreboding as that continent is, there are still people who live and work there. And these people have to eat.

Daniel Zwerdling is on assignment in Antarctica, and he tells NPR that food is a vital part of the morale of the people who make their home on this sheet of ice that’s dark for six months of every year.

“One of the things that makes you really feel alive is to come out here and do this work in the cold and then zoom back to the base and have a nice warm dinner. Yum yum,” says scientist Donald Manahan. But getting that nice warm dinner is not without its challenges. The biggest one is that food deliveries come only once a year, so nearly all of the food is frozen, canned, or dried. (Side note: I wouldn’t like to be the person assigned to put away the groceries when they’re delivered.)

Still, the enterprising chefs manage to turn out decent food, with choices ranging from fish and chips to omelets, falafel, grilled mahi mahi, and roast beef.

Cooking nutritious meals for 1,000 with only packaged food and no fresh produce? Sounds like a job for the lunch ladies of America.

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