As the rover Curiosity makes its journey to Mars, food scientists on Earth are exploring whether astronauts with a green thumb will be the key to feeding at least a six-person crew on a future mission to the Red Planet.
"The big challenge is having a food system that is going to work for that long-duration mission," says Michele Perchonok, NASA's Advanced Food Technology Project Scientist.
A “Martian greenhouse” is one of the food systems being considered for a manned mission to Mars, which isn't scheduled until the 2030s.
It takes six months just to get to Mars and the team in charge of food, including Perchonok, is responsible for feeding the crew every day for two and a half years.
“If we didn't go with the plant-based bioregenerative food system, and all we did was provide packaged food for a 1,000-day mission for a crew of six, it’s about 20,000 pounds of food plus packaging," she says.
To housewife Mavis Butterfield of Gig Harbor, Washington, saving money is a game. And she isn't afraid to roll up her sleeves to win.
No, this thrifty, coupon-clipping mother of two plans on growing 2,000 pounds of fresh food this year right out of her own back yard. Armed with 1.25 acres of planting space, Mavis says spending less on groceries and growing as much food as possible is great way to save those pennies.
“Look at these...beautiful, purple. We just harvested these too.” Sam Kass brushes away the leaves to reveal Japanese eggplants.
It’s a beautiful summer day in Washington, DC. Instead of toiling in a government office building, Kass is digging in a backyard garden. And it's not just any garden; he’s in the White House kitchen garden. Kass is a White House assistant chef, working his dream job.
Chefs with Issues is a platform for chefs and farmers we love, fired up for causes about which they're passionate. Jay Pierce is the chef at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen in Greensboro and Cary, North Carolina and frequently contributes to Edible Piedmont Magazine and the restaurant's Farm-to-Fork blog.
As this year’s political season wends its way to Election Day, we voters will be implored to act, decide, stand up for what we believe in. Our voice matters; as every child learns in school, one vote can make a difference. No matter how disaffected or energized you are by rhetorical jousting about healthcare, debt ceilings or foreign aid, there is one topic that hits close to everyone’s home: buying and eating food.
Eight years ago, 52-year-old flight attendant Louise Tremblay thought she had finally found her dream home tucked into the woods in the Quebec countryside. But, as she attempted to draw a relaxing bath her first night in the house, she realized quickly that something was amiss. The tub filled a scant two inches and she realized to her horror that she had poured her entire life's savings into a home with no viable source of water. The house, as it turned out, had been built atop an old garbage dump.
The nearest neighbor was unwilling to work with her to fix the shared, faulty well and city officials would not allow her to dig a new one. Drained of financial resources, she looked around to take stock of her surroundings. "I had my garden to keep me alive," she said. "I had my vegetable garden to keep me healthy."
There are lots of reasons to grow your own food. It’s cheaper, safer, healthier, better for the environment, and even reduces stress.
So this year, we challenge you to grow one thing for your dinner table: Herb, vegetable, fruit … just one thing that you cultivate yourself.
Whether you're using a rooftop, countertop, or community garden, if you're blessed with full sun or none, we invite you to join the iReport kitchen garden club - and chronicle your successes and foibles through photos and video.
We'll all learn together.
Too broke? Too busy? Too...nope. We're having none of that. This is the year you garden.
Watch Eatocracy on CNN Newsroom every Wednesday at 12:45 ET.
Eatocracy's Managing Editor Kat Kinsman attempts to vegetable garden on a roof deck in Brooklyn, NY in USDA Hardiness Zone 6b. Feel free to taunt, advise or encourage her efforts as this series progresses.
This year, you'll grow your own food. Not all of it and probably not even most or much of it. But you'll grow some, and that's going to change your life.
There are plenty of reasons to do this. Andrew Zimmern told us just this week that. "If everyone grew what they could, supported urban farms and community gardens in cities and local CSAs, the pressure relief on our overtaxed system would be immense. The resulting dollar shift would be staggering and deliver a positive shot in the arm to local economies. Our food would also be safer. Small action here can yield tremendous impact, immediately."
That's awfully compelling - and pretty intense. Perhaps start small. Grow an herb you are sick of having to pay money for at a store. Grow a vegetable that reminds you of how a grandparent's kitchen smelled. Grow a fruit you always want to have at your fingertips. Grow an ingredient that will make your sauce, stew, soup or salad taste the way it did when you had it at that little cafe in Rome, France, Mexico City or Des Moines.