Mawson drew on his winter with Shackleton, and a scientist’s curiosity about nutrition, to draw up the AAE’s food requirements. ‘The successful work of an expedition,’ he wrote, depends on the health of the men who form its members, and good and suitable food reduces to a minimum the danger of scurvy; a scourge which has marred many polar enterprises.’
He planned for fresh meat to be consumed when possible. Live sheep were taken by Aurora on each cruise, to be killed south of 60°S, and every opportunity was taken to obtain seal and penguin meat throughout the year.
On sledging journeys pemmican was the main daily food. This mainly comprised dried meat, fat and dried fruit. It was supplemented with biscuit, butter, and chocolate, and for beverages, dried milk, cocoa, tea and sugar.