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Good news, future Martians: Restaurants on the red planet could theoretically serve more than just potatoes. Researchers in the Netherlands have successfully grown vegetables in simulated soil from Mars as well as the Moon.
The recent crop included tomatoes, peas, rye, radishes, cress and, appropriately, rocket (a.k.a. arugula). That’s amazing. But even more fantastic is the fact that the vegetables grown in Marian soil were nearly identical to those grown in Earth soil. Sadly, there’s no word yet on how the vegetables taste. “We had crops and harvested them, tomatoes, rye grains, radish, rocket, cress, but did not taste them yet,” the project’s lead ecologist, Wieger Warmelink, told Gizmodo. “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.” If researchers complete the exams and all goes well, Warmelink says the next harvest will undergo a taste test.
If the vegetables pass the taste test, we have a few ideas about how to use them. Caes-Mars salad, anyone?