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Monday, June 13, 2005

Martian Food

Martian bread and green tomato jam
Martian bread and green tomato jam
Credit: ESA
Two French companies, ADF and GEM, have created 11 delicious recipes (3 listed were 'Martian bread and green tomato jam', 'Spirulina gnocchis' and 'Potato and tomato mille-feuilles') that can be made on Mars. More importantly, they can be made with ingredients grown on Mars. The ESA gave the chefs a list of 9 ingredients that they believe could be grown on Mars. One of the restrictions was that 40% of the dishes must have been made from the 9 plants (rice, onions, tomatoes, soya, potatoes, lettuce, spinach, wheat and spirulina (a blue-green algae, 65% protein by weight), the remaining 60% was allowed to be vegetables, herbs, oil, butter, salt, pepper, sugar and other seasoning brought from home. "We are aiming initially at producing 40% locally for astronauts' food on future long-duration space missions, for example to Mars," says Christophe Lasseur, ESA's biological life-support coordinator. He is responsible for the development of systems to recycle and production of air, water, and food during long space missions. "In addition to being healthy and sufficiently nutritious for survival, good food could potentially provide psychological support for the crew, away from Earth for years," says Lasseur. ADF chef Armand Arnal, adds: "The main challenge was to create a wide panel of recipes, distinct and full-flavored, with only nine basic products.... Moreover, we had absolute restrictions on using salt, but were allowed to add a bit of sugar and fat, ingredients normally essential to the elaboration of a dish and to highlight its flavors."

Thanks to 'The Vanman' on the forum for bringing this great story to our attention.

(More info: ESA)

- posted by Jim @ 13:58 EST