Scientists are about to eat radishes grown in Martian soil
Pack your bags, because it looks like we are a step closer to making colonizing Mars a reality: researchers at the Netherlands’ Wageningen University have grown vegetables in nutrient-poor soil designed to closely mimic that of the moon and Mars. Looks like we weren’t the only ones intrigued by the possibilities in The Martian!
And it worked! Just look at these radishes:
Radishes, first harvested
“We had crops and harvested them, tomatoes, rye grains, radish, rocket, cress, but did not taste them yet,” lead researcher Wieger Wamelink told Gizmodo earlier this year when they first started growing the plants. “First we have to make sure that it is safe to eat them because of the heavy metals that are present in the soils and may end up in the plants.”
Well, the test results are in, and pull up a fork: The peas, tomatoes, rye, and radishes, all had heavy metal concentrations within normal levels. In fact, the peas and tomatoes actually tested at lower levels than their Earth cousins.
Nonetheless, there is one other potential safety risk scientists will look for in the vegetables. As Wamelink explained in a Gizmodo follow-up:
“In principle, there could be another problem, but the chances of that are very low and we would taste it immediately. Plants may form alkaloids when they are under pressure, in high quantities they could be poisonous to us. We will check on them later, to see if any of them are in the crops, together with vitamins and flavonoids.”
They sure look safe to eat:
Cress just before harvest
Though, Wamelink notes on the Facebook page that the food grown on the moon is less-than-appetizing: “The harvest on moon soil simulant is not very good. It looks like we still have some issues with the moon soil simulant.” (That’s okay, guys, we’d rather live on Mars than the moon, anyway.)
First harvest of peas in 2016. The harvest on moon soil simulant is not very good. It looks like we still have some issues with the moon soil simulant.
Now we know that when we colonize Mars, the potential for four and five star restaurants is growing!
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