In my science fiction book, Glory on Mars, settlers raise their own food. What would you take on a one-way journey to Mars?
You’d bring enough dried, compressed, packaged food to survive for a while, but living on Mars means growing your own.
Protein and Fat
Even on Earth, some people question the sense of raising large animals for food. There will be no cattle, pigs, or chickens on Mars – think of the mess on the spaceship to transport them! Not to mention having to grow hay or corn to feed them before they become food for people.
But insects – there’s an idea. Easy to transport – the eggs can probably be frozen. There are many places on Earth where people already enjoy insects, and maybe that’s what settlers should take to Mars.
How about mealworms? The name says it all. Just share your potato crop with them.
Here’s a recipe:
Mealworms for Snacking (Protein and Fat)
~ Collect mealworms (Darkling beetle larvae) of good size and vigor in a container with a breathable lid. Add parsley or other herb to the container – as they eat the herb, it flavors them – so I’m told.
~ After two days, remove all food so the worms can – yuck – purge anything nasty from their bodies. Remove any dead worms. Feed those to the fish you need for supper.
~ Humanely dispatch your worms by freezing them for two days.
Boil the frozen worms for 3 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Recycle the used water in your garden.
Toast worms in a pan over low heat until golden brown.
Thanks to groundtoground for inspiration. The recipe sauteing mealworms with chili peppers and garlic in butter sounds great, too, but that will have to wait for future missions to Mars.
Totally Earthbound Note: High-school student discovers bacteria that enables mealworms to digest
Mealworms can apparently subsist on a diet of foamed polystyrene, better known as Styrofoam. There won’t be much of that on Mars – though here’s a great way to recycle whatever there is – but could this help with recycling onEarth? csmonitor
And NASA is trying potatoes.