‘Mar­tian’ veg­eta­bles good enough to eat

The Daily Telegraph - - News -

Hopes of colonis­ing Mars took a step for­ward af­ter sci­en­tists proved it was pos­si­ble to grow food on Mar­tian soil.

Re­searchers in the Nether­lands have been try­ing to pro­duce crops in soils cre­ated to sim­u­late con­di­tions on the Red Planet.

Sci­en­tists of Wa­genin­gen Uni­ver­sity and Re­search Cen­tre were con­cerned that even if food grew it would con­tain dan­ger­ous lev­els of met­als that would be toxic to hu­mans.

But ex­per­i­ments grow­ing toma­toes, peas, radishes and rye proved that the crops were not only safe, but pos­si­bly health­ier than those grown on Earth.

“For radish, pea, rye and tomato, we did a pre­lim­i­nary anal­y­sis and the re­sults are very promis­ing,” says Dr Wieger Wamelink. “We can eat them.”

Re­searchers found Earth pot­ting soil had higher con­tents of lead, ar­senic and cop­per than Mar­tian soil.

Nasa has said it wants to es­tab­lish a Mars colony by the 2030s, but if the plans are to be re­alised, space-dwellers will need to learn to grow their own food.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.