JUL 04, 2016 11:47 AM PDT

Scientists Deem Vegetables Grown in Mars-Like Soil 'Safe to Eat'

As mankind gets ever-so-closer to putting boots down on Mars’ surface, there are a lot of challenges that need to be overcome. So far, inflatable habitation modules and 3D printing both offer a lot of promise for packing a ton of supplies into a small volume of storage to make it possible to have a livable camp on the red planet, but there is still more to it than that.
 
Anyone who gets sent to Mars will be there for a really long time. It won’t be like the International Space Station where they go up for a few months and then come right back. So sustainability is very important. One of the things necessary to sustain life is food, and one of the best ways to produce sustainable food is with plants.
 

A recent experiment has shown that plants grown in Mars-like soil should be safe to consume.

 Image Credit: Joep Frissel/AFP/Getty Images

A recent experiment carried out by Dutch scientists sought to find out whether or not plants grown in Mars-like conditions were safe to eat. Soil mixes, created by NASA, were produced to simulate as closely as possible the soil conditions found on the red planet and ten kinds of plants will be planted in the study.
 
So far, the findings were positive for four of the plant types, illustrating that plants of various kinds, whether vegetables or cereals, would grow alright in Martian soil, and would be safe to eat. Among the types of plants tested were peas, radishes rye and tomatoes.
 
“These remarkable results are very promising,” said senior ecologist Wieger Wamelink. “We can actually eat the radishes, peas, rye and tomatoes, and I am very curious what they will taste like.”
 
Still to be tested are six more types of plants that could behave differently, which include potatoes.
 
One of the major things scientists look for were dangerous levels of heavy metals in the plants that could pose health problems to anyone to ate them. Mars has higher concentrations of cadmium, copper, and lead than Earth does, and these metals could make the food inedible.
 
“It’s important to test as many crops as possible, to make sure that settlers on Mars have access to a broad variety of different food sources,” said Wamelink.

The experiment comes a few months after Inernational Space Station astronauts grew lettuce on the space station and then proceeded to eat the product, showing it was safe to eat.

We’re still decades away from having the technology needed to send mankind to Mars, but getting a head start on research is the only sure fire way we’re ever going to get there.
 
At least now we know we should be able to plant crops on the red planet in climate-controlled areas and have sustainable edible food.

Source: The Guardian

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
NOV 03, 2018
Technology
NOV 03, 2018
Tiny Light Detectors Inspired by Directional Hearing in Geckos
Many animals, like geckos, have difficulty triangulating the location of noises due to the small size of their heads.           &n...
NOV 07, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 07, 2018
Experts Thought This Octopus Was a Male, and it Just Had Thousands of Babies
Caretakers for what was initially thought to be a ‘male’ octopus named Octavian at the University of Georgia’s Marine Education Center an...
NOV 17, 2018
Videos
NOV 17, 2018
Using Genetic Research to Improve Animal Conservation and Care
A group of Peters's Angolan colobus monkeys were brought to US zoos from East Africa in the 80s, but little is known about them....
NOV 26, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 26, 2018
Predation Drives Reproductive Patterns in Rodents, Study Finds
Smaller mammals, especially rodents, are rather low on the universal food chain. Due to the nature of their bite-sized physique, larger predators often tak...
DEC 17, 2018
Plants & Animals
DEC 17, 2018
Newly Discovered Species of Dinosaur Was Related to Triceratops
Although dinosaurs don’t walk the Earth with us today, they left behind a plethora of fossilized bones and remnants that can help tell their story an...
JAN 02, 2019
Health & Medicine
JAN 02, 2019
The Creatures Living on Our Skin
While the images that you find on different websites of mites that live on humans may be frightening, most have a symbiotic relationship with us and are as...
Loading Comments...