Food is such a unifying component of our culture, and I thought it was effective how Lansing incorporated food into the narrative because for me it was easier to understand how the group was coming together under such conditions and I could more easily relate to how quickly the group came together. Meals are a time for groups to come together and share a common experience. So even though people may be in a different state in one way or another, meal time is when everyone is at least on some level of an equal playing field. That constancy of something familiar - eating dinner - helps build the bonds that create a form of group identity. The constant reminders that the rations were getting smaller and the contrasting descriptions of Christmas dinners helped emphasize not only the severity of their situation (I have to remind myself that they're in Antarctica and temperatures are below freezing while I'm reading in the sunshine). The fact that there is only one instance in the narrative in which people complain about a decision Shackleton makes regarding hunting seals despite such meager rations helps emphasize the solidarity within the group. When Shackleton decides to leave the seals behind and not hunt for a while. Greenstreet writes that he considered the decision to be "'rather foolish.'" I thought it was interesting that Lansing choses this particular incident, when disagreement arises over food, to be the moment where he analyzes Shackleton's leadership in a bit more detail. It seems odd to me that there is not more disagreement about when and if rations are cut in other instances when Shackleton limits the food supply, although now that I think about it, adding more to a supply differs greatly from taking away food.
Also, I was amused by the conversations that Lansing depicted regarding the thoughts of food from back home. The conversations about "good bread and butter, Munich beer, Coromandel rock oysters, apple pie and Devonshire cream are pleasant reminiscences rather than longings” (103) reminded me of times on trail when my thoughts traveled back to foods that I did not have on trail but that I was looking forward to upon arriving back home. At points in my journals I've written lists of food that I couldn't get on trail but I was so bored with trail food that I started thinking about alternatives.