What Would Food Grown On Another Planet Taste Like?

Not the same as it tastes here on Earth, say experts.
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Matt Damon’s character in The Martian has to grow food in a controlled environment on Mars in order to survive, but once that food is ready, he might discover it tastes different than he expected  or so say experts. The taste of various foods is hardly universal here on Earth as it is; the same plant grown in different regions can vary widely in taste due to changes in soil, atmosphere, and so on. It makes sense, then, that food grown on a completely different planet could taste, uh, out of this world.

The Martian is fictional, sure, but the Mars One program is not; experts have long studied ways to allow vegetation to thrive on Mars, should explorers ever reach it. University of Florida researcher Anna-Lisa Paul has been growing food in conditions similar to Mars, and the results are not only edible but healthful: “Many plants manufacture more of the class of pigments known as anthocyanins—the red stuff in red cabbage, but also the purple of blueberries and blackberries—in response to stressful environments. It is well known that anthocyanins are great antioxidants and good for you.”

Most of us Earthlings won’t ever have the pleasure of tasting foods grown and cooked on other planets, but apparently, some of the results will be unforgettable. Greek scientists made french fries in a centrifuge that mimicked Jupiter’s gravity, and they determined the results to be the best fries ever. That’s some good science.

(via Popular Science, image via Screen Rant)

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Maddy Myers
Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (relay.fm/isometric), and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (robotknights.com).