Growing edible food on Mars’ surface is possible not only in fictional movies like The Martian, but also in real life!
Ridley Scott’s hit Sci-Fi The Martian raised tons of questions regarding the actual real life possibility of various things showed in the movie. And now scientists have proven that at least one of the fictional possibilities isn’t as fictional as you might think.
A bunch of scientists from the Netherlands managed to grow food on an artificially stimulated soil, which was copied off of Mars’ soil probes. However, instead of enriching the artificial soil with human feces like Matt Damon’s character did in The Martian when growing his own potatoes, they used other nutrients. The scientists grew various food items, including peas, radish, rye, tomatoes, rocket, and other garden cress. Surprisingly enough, the final results were actually shocking even for the people standing behind this project!
The food was nearly as strong and as tall as it would have been if it was grown on natural Earth soils, which proves the theory that actual food can be grown on Mars. However, the team of scientists isn’t truly convinced that the food they grew is edible. The produced food items have to undergo safety tests before they could be consumed. According to the scientists, the iron, arsenic, mercury and lead are heavily concentrated in Mars’ soil and in the artificial soil they created, so before the food can be tested they have to make sure that these chemicals didn’t get all the way to the edible parts of the plans making them poisonous. The team explained that Mars’ soil is similar to Earth’s one apart from the lack of nitrogen and the presence of space radiation, which is lethal.