Last year, PETA made headlines with a request to SpaceX to make their planned colonies on Mars all-vegan. Well, here’s a start: NASA is working on a vegan menu for their astronauts’ mission to the red planet in 2030.
According to the Examiner, a NASA research team is dedicated to planning the plant-based menu for the long trip. Six-eight astronauts will spend six months journeying to Mars, eighteen months on the planet, and six months on their way back to Earth. “Mars is different just because it’s so far away. We don’t have the option to send a vehicle every six months and send more food as we do for International Space Station,” said Maya Cooper, senior research scientist for Lockheed Martin.
Cooper and other researchers have planned one hundred recipes for the astronauts so far. Along with planned meals like vegan pizza and sushi, they are also working on a “Martian greenhouse” which will allow the astronauts to grow plants and cook their meals. “That menu is favorable because it allows the astronauts to actually have live plants that are growing. You have optimum nutrient delivery with fresh fruits and vegetables, and it actually allows them to have freedom of choice when they’re actually cooking the menus because the food isn’t already pre-prepared into a particular recipe,” said Cooper.
According to CP24, the menu will also include food like “tofu and nuts” and “a Thai pizza that has no cheese but is covered with carrots, red peppers, mushrooms, scallions, peanuts and a homemade sauce that has a spicy kick.” Vegetables grown in their “greenhouse” will be grown in mineral water to replace soil. Along with this menu, pre-packaged foods will be sent with the astronauts as is done at the International Space Station. Food for the Mars mission will need to have a shelf-life of five years instead of two, though.
It sounds like NASA’s menu has come a long way from the early “bite-sized cubes, freezedried powders, and semiliquids stuffed in aluminum tubes” that astronauts took to space with them. Vegan pizza and sushi and a vegetable greenhouse on Mars!
Photo credit: Rashevska Nataliia / Shutterstock.com