Tag Archives: food

Ten years after the Russians did it, NASA finally produces lettuce in space

Lots of news stories today about yesterday’s lettuce feast on ISS, where a Japanese and two NASA astronauts chowed down on lettuce grown in a NASA-built space greenhouse, ten years after the Russians did it with the American-built and still working LADA greenhouse.

Almost all the stories below, however, fail to note that earlier effort, and instead make the false claim that this NASA experiment is the first to grow lettuce in space.

Only the last article, written at an alternative space news website normally focused on the collection of space memorabilia, gets it right, noting that the Russians did it more than a decade ago and have since then been regularly growing lettuce, peas, and radishes on ISS — and eating them. (They also link to the 2003 Air & Space article I wrote on this very subject.)

Meanwhile, take a scan of all the important mainstream news outlets above, none of whom did the slightest bit of research or fact-checking so they could find out that NASA’s experiment now is not the first, and in fact is more than a decade behind an earlier co-operative effort between the Russians and Utah State University.

This should make you wonder if maybe their other news research is as sloppy.

Cholesterol warning about to disappear

The uncertainty of science: The federal government is about to withdraw its half-century old warning against cholesterol in the diet.

I think the key quote from the article was said by Walter Willett, chair of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health:

There’s been a shift of thinking.

I’d call that statement a bit understated.

Archeologists have now found the earliest evidence of chocolate in Utah, suggesting that trade with the tropics was going on as early as 800 AD.

Archeologists have now found the earliest evidence of chocolate in Utah, suggesting that trade with the tropics was going on as early as 800 AD.

Since there still are some uncertainties about the evidence, there are still doubts about the trade.

Government inspector forces private citizens in a private house to pour bleach on home-grown food

We’re here to help you: A government inspector arrives during a meal and forces private citizens on private property to destroy the home-grown food.

Susan [the inspector] deemed our food unfit for consumption and demanded that we call off the event because:

1. Some of the prepared food packages did not have labels on them. (The code actually allows for this if it is to be consumed within 72 hours.)

2. Some of the meat was not USDA certified. (Did I mention that this was a farm to fork meal?)

3. Some of the food that was prepared in advance was not up to temperature at the time of inspection. (It was being prepared to be brought to proper temperature for serving when the inspection occurred.)

4. Even the vegetables prepared in advance had to be thrown out because they were cut and were then considered a “bio-hazard”.

5. We did not have receipts for our food. (Reminder! This food came from farms not from the supermarket! I have talked with several chefs who have said that in all their years cooking they have never been asked for receipts.)

I don’t actually agree with most of the ideas of the organic farm-to-fork movement. However, I find it beyond disgusting that our government thinks it has the right tell us what we can eat.

“Space beer,” one giant leap for mankind

The science of space beer.

“For example, many metals burn more easily in reduced gravity, liquids behave differently, both of which have important implications for safety and the way machinery and equipment operate in spacecraft and space stations. The beer experiments assisted in determining the correct level of carbonation, so that it can in the future be appropriately enjoyed by humans in reduced gravity,”

Climate change will destroy Thanksgiving

Better stop using that SUV! Global warming will not only destroy the Earth, a food scientist now claims that it will also destroy your Thanksgiving dinner!

Pasty, dry turkey meat along with expensive fruits, vegetables and potatoes could be on the horizon if more variable extremes in regional weather patterns continue as a likely result of climate change, indicates author Neville Gregory.

Building a lunar vegetable garden on Earth

University of Arizona scientists have built a hydroponic lunar vegetable garden on Earth. More information here. Key quote:

The membrane-covered module can be collapsed to a four-foot-wide disk for interplanetary travel. It contains water-cooled sodium vapor lamps and long envelopes that would be loaded with seeds, ready to sprout hydroponically.