The distant dream of starting up a human colony on Mars is suddenly a lot more realistic than we once thought it to be. Although we can get to Mars, we haven’t figured out a way to have a constant, sustainable source of food there… until now.
Researchers from Wageningen University in the Netherlands planted crops in simulated martian soil, which was infused with the same metals and nutrients as the soil on Mars. The lead and other metals in Mars’ soil made people unsure if food grown in it would hurt those who ate it. After successfully growing and analyzing radishes, tomatoes, rye and peas in mock Martian soil, researchers claim that the plants are completely safe for humans to eat.
Wieger Wamelink, the head ecologist from the project, said that the future of growing plants on Mars is “very promising.” Considering how Wamelink’s team determined that the plants didn’t have dangerous levels of metal in them, we could be one step closer to making life on Mars a reality.
The team started up a crowdfunding campaign to finish testing six other crops grown in their ‘Martian’ soil and have vowed to eat their plants if they’re ruled safe by the FDA and the Dutch Food Agency. Support the food-on-Mars cause here.
Look out Mars, here we come.