ISS astronauts eat lettuce grown in space for the FIRST TIME! #LettuceRejoice #SpaceLettuce #LeafyGreens

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Lettuce all get excited about news today from the International Space Station (ISS)! Reported from the BBC:

Astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) have tasted space-grown lettuce.

The red romaine lettuce leaves were grown entirely by the team and it marks the start of the “veggie project” that will see more food grown in space.

NASA scientists say fresh food will have a positive impact on the astronauts’ health.

Astronauts have been growing crops in space for years for research, but this is the first time they have been allowed to eat their produce.

Looks like the astronauts will no longer have an excuse to not eat their veggies!

[tweet https://twitter.com/Space_Station/status/630793246814269440]

Increasing Carbon Dioxide levels will deplete our food of nutrition

A Nature Letter this week shows that increasing levels of atmospheric CO(a greenhouse gas) will cause a decline in the nutritional value of plants important for feeding the globe. The study looked at C3 and C4 plants, which use different biochemical methods to process carbon from CO2. C3 plants were more sensitive to higher COconcentrations than C4 plants. C3 plants include many common grains and legumes and more than 95 percent of plant species on earth (rice, wheat, oranges, grapes, potatoes…). C4 plants include corn and sugar cane and represent the second most prevalent form of photosynthetic plants. There is actually a push to make genetically modified rice that will be a C4 plant, which would make it more resistant to increasing CO2 levels (C4 rice).

“Dietary deficiencies of zinc and iron are a substantial global public health problem. An estimated two billion people suffer these deficiencies1, causing a loss of 63  million life-years annually23. Most of these people depend on C3 grains and legumes as their primary dietary source of zinc and iron. Here we report that C3 grains and legumes have lower concentrations of zinc and iron when grown under field conditions at the elevated atmospheric COconcentration predicted for the middle of this century. C3 crops other than legumes also have lower concentrations of protein, whereas C4 crops seem to be less affected. Differences between cultivars of a single crop suggest that breeding for decreased sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 concentration could partly address these new challenges to global health.”

Soylent: Food substitute for people who don’t want to cook or eat

Soylent is a food substitute that claims to fulfill all your nutritional needs in a slurry drink. Rob Rhinehart, a software engineer, has been testing different formulas, and the latest version is now publicly available. The whole thing has a bit of a creepy vibe, perhaps partly due to it being named after something that contained people (Soylent Green, 1973). However, the obvious applications and ability to someday use this as a no frills nutritional utility, are fascinating.

 

“What if you never had to worry about food again?”  – http://soylent.me

 

http://gawker.com/we-drank-soylent-the-weird-food-of-the-future-510293401

 

Would you try it? I am certainly intrigued.