The Antarctic Chef Who Kept Hope Alive

Posted on January 7, 2017 by Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Food is such an essential part of so many of our lives. It is arguably one of our finest and most diverse art forms, spanning cultures and ways of life.

Food can be so much more than sustenance, sometimes it can be a lifeline and a life saver.

Image: crew of the Endurance expedition launching a small boat
Source: Frank Hurley // Smithsonian

For the men of Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated Endurance expedition to cross Antarctica in 1914, food was a means of keeping hope alive when death loomed as they waited, isolated, and freezing after their ships were engulfed in ice.

The hero behind the stove that kept hope alive was Charles Green, a former baker who was tasked with feeding a crew of 17 men from seven different nationalities.

On this edition of Saturday’s Around the World, we take you back in time to Antarctica to hear the remarkable story of Charles Green and his remarkable work in the face of despair.

So, grab a favorite beverage and tuck into this beautiful story that reminds us of some of the roots of what it means to be human…

Every time I hear this podcast I am warmed to my core by it. I get chills at the moments that remind me that humanity and hope can be kept alive by something as seemingly simple as food. I smile at the stories of Green’s creativity on the ice. Most of all, though, I am happily reminded of how important it is to celebrate these kinds of unsung heroes.

History is filled with these kinds of figures and their stories. All, in some way, reminding us of our shared humanity.

No matter where we are from, food can be a language, a beacon of hope and happiness, a way of connecting.

It’s still an amazing world because it always has been an amazing world! History certainly reminds us of how remarkable and resilient the human spirit can be.

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!



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