What’s for lunch? #fieldeats

During our recent outreach events with the Kingston Field Naturalists and the Kingston Frontenac Public Library, we noticed that people were really interested in our eating habits. The what’s, where’s, and how’s of eating during fieldwork were questions that kept coming up. If your fieldwork entails living in isolation from the public for many weeks, how do you get the food there and store it properly? If you have no access to refrigeration, what do you eat? These are all valid questions for such a necessity in life that you don’t really take into consideration until you are removed from the luxury of everyday life. I’m sure anyone who has been camping is nodding in agreement.

Jeff's massive bag overflowing with equipment.

Normally, since field biologists are already carrying a lot of equipment, food in the field tends to be pretty basic. However, believe it or not, food can change your mood. What you eat that day could determine how that whole day turns out. In the past two guest posts, Jeff Havig told us about the exciting daily meals that he shared with his #teamfire and #teamice. Meals included burritos, sausages, and even chicken alfredo (cue drool). The ingredients for these meals had to fit in the packs that they carried with them (among other items that you can read about here).


Camp at Reef Island

Luxury 5 star accommodation on Reef Island

Sarah, one of our resident bloggers, and her field team had to carry a month’s worth of food in large plastic totes across slippery rocks and  over fallen logs to make it to the “camp” – consisting of a large tarp over a picnic table. Despite the rugged conditions of the “camp” it was equipped with an oven where she was able to bake a cake!



Instead of limiting the answers to just our experiences in the field, we also opened up the question to our followers and fellow field biologists on twitter with the hashtags #fieldeats and #fieldworklunch:

Some field biologists like to stay healthy:


Or keep it simple (as long as you beat the wildlife to it!):


A popular choice of lunch for field work seems to be including one magic ingredient:



(Which we have heard was as a result of miscommunication with her field assistant to get “bread”)

Or mixing it up a bit:


(I don’t know if I have the guts to try this!)

When you think about it, Peanut Butter Jelly time does make sense in the field: