Potatoes for Mars #Mars #NASA #space #science

A few of the many potato varieties

A few of the many potato varieties

Who knew there’s an International Potato Center? There is – in Peru. They’re teaming with NASA to grow potatoes in soil taken from the Atacama Desert. Peru has 4,000 varieties of potatoes to choose from.

[Like Mars, Atacama soil has] extremely low levels of microorganisms and organic material as well as high levels of oxidizing chemical elements. For these reasons, the soils in Atacama have been used as analogous to Mars in research scenarios.

They’ll freeze the potatoes they grow and try to revive them. Is it possible The Martian could have revived his frozen potatoes? That would have made life on Mars a lot more comfortable.

Eventually, NASA wants to grow potatoes in zero gravity, in an enclosed atmosphere inside a CubeSat in space. Then, someday, in an enclosed greenhouse on Mars.

Growing potatoes for Mars will teach us about feeding people on Earth, too.

We see the science, educational, and humanitarian goals as being intertwined. In the process of working together toward establishing a community on Mars, our students will also be establishing a community on Earth.

Science fiction has settled on the potato for Mars colonists. I’d like to see NASA confirm that guess.

GLORY Ebook 300 dpiEat like a Martian – at least, like a scifi Martian:

fish supper
mealworm snack
cassava
practice for Mars on Earth
Banana beer from Born on Mars
And Liz, in Glory on Mars, tries to make bhang, though she doesn’t have all the ingredients.

Thanks to scientificamerican.com, Eureka Alert eurekalert.org, and other outlets.

 

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How to Eat Like a Martian – What Pioneering Will Be Like – Fish Supper #scifi #Mars #space #recipe

Baked-Tilapia-with-Tomatoes-duo

Oops – where’d that rice come from? My colonists don’t have any. Recipes below.

The first colonists on Mars take a one-way trip – is that a mistake?

While we wait for the answer – what’s for supper?
My new science fiction book, Glory on Mars, explores what life will be like on the red planet. There’s exploration and danger. There’s also supper – recipes below.

I give my first settlers cylinders of macronutrients they can extrude through a 3-D printer into shapes for variety, but that’s not very satisfying and the supply is limited. Vitamin pills are relatively lightweight, but I don’t think our Martian cousins should depend on Earth shipping them pills forever.

If they don’t want to starve, Martians will grow their own food – and if they don’t want scurvy, pellagra, and rickets to make a comeback, that food needs to be healthful.

Ya gotta eat to live, but food must provide pleasure and comfort. Will you go vegan? Here’s another vote for potatoes.

What to grow on Mars
For protein I give my first settlers tilapia – an easily farmed, mild white fish – and mealworms. Also seeds and starter plants – potatoes, tomatoes, squash, salad greens, and herbs. Chives, thyme, lovage (which tastes like celery), and parsley seem essential to me.

What herbs would you take to Mars?

Imagine you spent a long hard day replacing gaskets and filters in the recycling system. You’ve worked in cramped quarters, your back aches, and you’re hungry. Grumpy-hungry.

Fortunately, one of your teammates has cooked supper. Here’s what you sit down to.

Supper for Four Settlers
Poached Tilapia (Protein
)
~ 4 tilapia fillets
~ Chopped parsley – lots
~ 4 tomatoes – sliced or diced as you prefer
~ Salt (You know, salt’s another thing to worry about on Mars. Especially once children are born and the population grows, you can’t rely on recycling human waste – get over the yuck reaction ’cause it’s gotta happen – to harvest enough salt.)

Arrange fillets in a baking dish. Sprinkle with parsley. Cover with tomatoes. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the dish. Cover baking dish.

Bake or microwave until fish is opaque and flaky. Check and add more water if it boils away in the cooking. Serve with salt and more parsley to taste.

Actually, since you were grumpy-hungry, maybe you should double that recipe. And – salt. You brought a supply, of course. But you’ll need more as the colony grows – hope you find a deposit.

Thanks allrecipes for the idea. Sorry – no lemon or oil on Mars yet.

Nuked Potatoes (Calories)
~ 4 large or 8 small potatoes
~ Chopped herbs

Prick potato skins all over. Microwave until done – fork tines will slide easily into the center. (You remembered to bring forks from Earth, didn’t you?)  Serve with a choice of herbs – I like chives and thyme. Some potato varieties are a bit dry, so mash in water and wish you had milk.

Salad (Vitamins)
Wash and dry a selection of greens and herbs. Serve raw. And plain. Sorry, no salad dressing yet on Mars.

Look here for a tasty snack of mealworms.

Would that leave you happy and content? What herbs do you think are vital to cooking?

All my books, including the On Mars series, are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble,

Near future Mars colony - Kate Rauner

I updated the cover art since this image – take a look on Amazon or your favorite online store. Start reading with Glory on Mars 4.5 stars and frequently found in top 10% of its Amazon scifi category

 

iTunes, Kobo, and other major online retailers.  Read one today.

More ways to eat like a Martian:
mealworm snack
cassava
practice for Mars on Earth
Banana beer from Born on Mars
And Liz, in Glory on Mars, tries to make bhang, though she doesn’t have all the ingredients.

And NASA is also trying potatoes.