Scientists Say That Eating On Mars Would Be A Complicated Experience
Mars is in line to be humanity’s next home. That plan comes with a number of hurdles we must overcome on our own planet before human life on the red planet can be a reality. While terra-forming for an environment with breathable oxygen is important, we also have to think about what exactly we’re going to eat when we get there.
Michele Perchonok, current president of the Institute of Food Technologies, says that the trip to Mars comes with a host of problems, all circling back to the food cargo. “We can’t develop a food system as a silo, for any mission for NASA. Food affects everything else.”
We still lack a fundamental understanding about space and so cannot yet fathom how to make or even grow food. Another factor to take into consideration is the shelf-life of food delivered, which is restricted because of the high expense to transport.
“Shelf-life for food is really a combination of the environment it’s stored in, the packaging, the ingredients and how they are processed,” says Perchonok.
Since Mars is essentially a barren wasteland at this time, food will have to be restricted to pre-packaged meals for the first few missions.
Perchonok says that “as the level of missions progresses, I think you’ll see more progression into growing plants.”
Things we take for granted like boiled water, the consistency of our sauces, how well our noodles are cooked, and transferring ingredients from one dish to another are all important questions that need to be asked before ensuring we have food on Mars.
To some, it may seem unnecessary to put so much time and effort into food alone, but if such a task is tackled by multiple agencies, there might be a faster road to the right solution.
How long do you think it will take us to get food growing on Mars?