Scientists Just Grew Edible Plants in Simulated Mars Soil
Chefs may be able to start drafting a menu for Mars-bound astronauts. A group of Dutch scientists have found radishes, peas, rye, and tomatoes may take root in Martian soil.
Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at PCMag.com where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker
Chefs may be able to start drafting a menu for Mars-bound astronauts. A group of Dutch scientists have successfully harvested a crop of edible plants from simulated Mars soil.
Researchers from Wageningen University in the Netherlands have been using soil developed by NASA, which simulates a Martian environment to run their experiments. Mars' soil contains such metals as aluminum, copper, iron, manganese, zinc, arsenic, cadmium, chrome, nickel, and lead. “If too high levels of heavy metals from the soil are absorbed in the edible parts of the plants, the crops become poisonous,” the Mars One office told Popular Science. So, the team has been experimenting with a number of plants since 2013, and it was only recently that they were able to harvested their first edible crops from this soil.
Watch as senior ecologist Wieger Wamelink talks about the trials of the experiment:
Of the crops that grew, they found radishes, peas, rye, and tomatoes were safe for consumption. Though, no one from the team has actually conducted a taste-test on these crops, Wamelink remarked in a press release that he’s “very curious what they will taste like.”
The research was funded by Mars One, a project that hopes to send a group of volunteers on a one-way trip to the Red Planet.
Other groups of scientists have been working on solving the Martian food issue. Earlier this year NASA teamed up with the International Potato Center (CIP) in an effort to find out if the potato will be part of the Mars mission. The team is currently experimenting with 100 different varieties of potato to try and find those best suited to grow on the Red Planet.
Photo Credit: Mars One
We're more dependent on them than we realize.
- Scientists says our survival depends on biodiversity.
- A natural climate strategy we often forget.
- Seeing our place among the Earth's living creatures.
There's a high social cost that comes with lighting up.
While short-term results are positive, there is mounting evidence against staying in ketosis for too long.
- Recent studies showed volunteers lost equal or more weight on high-carb, calorie-restricted diets than low-carb, calorie restricted diets.
- There might be positive benefits to short-term usage of a ketogenic diet.
- One dietician warns that the ketogenic diet could put diabetics at risk for diabetic ketoacidosis.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.