Thursday, September 27, 2012


PLANNED MARS MISSION IN 2030s - Researchers are building a menu for a planned NASA mission to Mars in the 2030s, mixing and tasting the vegetarian concoctions they hope to send with the astronauts. Travel to Mars opens the possibility that astronauts can do things like chop veggies and do a little cooking. It may be possible to boil water with a pressure cooker too. The menu must sustain a group of six to eight astronauts, keep them healthy and happy and offer a broad array of food. That's no simple feat considering it will likely take six months to get to the Red Planet, astronauts will have to stay there 18 months and then it will take another six months to return to Earth. “Mars is different just because it's so far away,” said Maya Cooper, senior research scientist who build the menu along with Lockheed Martin. Astronauts who travel to the space station have a wide variety of food available to them, some 100 or so different options, in fact. On Mars there is a little gravity, allowing NASA to consider significant changes to the current space menu.

Travel to Mars opens the possibility that astronauts can do things like chop vegetables and do a little cooking of their own. Even though pressure levels are different than on Earth, scientists think it will be possible to boil water with a pressure cooker too. One option Cooper and her staff are considering is having the astronauts care for a “Martian greenhouse.” They would have a variety of fruits and vegetables - from carrots to bell peppers - in a hydroponic solution, meaning they would be planted in mineral-laced water instead of soil. The astronauts would care for their garden and then use those ingredients, combined with others, such as nuts and spices brought from Earth, to prepare their meals. The top priority is to ensure that the astronauts get the proper amount of nutrients, calories and minerals to maintain their physical health and performance for the life of the mission, Cooper said. Already, Cooper's team of three has come up with about 100 recipes, all vegetarian because the astronauts will not have dairy or meat products available. It isn't possible to preserve those products long enough to take to Mars - and bringing a cow on the mission is not an option, Cooper jokes.

NASA is already making plans for their Mars mission which will take place in 2030. Since eating is the first thing that people need to do in order to survive, scientists are studying the best menu for astronauts: that is the food will be healthier and tastier. To ensure the vegetarian diet packs the right amount of protein, the researchers are designing a variety of dishes that include tofu and nuts, including a Thai pizza that has no cheese but is covered with carrots, red peppers, mushrooms, scallions, peanuts and a homemade sauce that has a spicy kick.  “The menu is favorable because it allows the astronauts to actually have live plants that are growing, you have optimum nutrient delivery with fresh fruits and vegetables,” researcher scientist Cooper said. Is there anything more to say?

Recently a group of eminent doctors called the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), themselves members of the American Medical Association, have decided to change the US consciousness on human nutrition, particularly among the medical community.   Armed with decades of nutritional research data, the PCRM - which is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. consisting of doctors and laypersons - frankly says:  “The fact is, it is very easy to have a well-balanced diet with vegetarian foods. Vegetarian foods provide plenty of protein. Careful combining of foods is not necessary.  Any normal variety of plant foods provides more than enough protein for the body’s needs. ... Excess protein has been linked to kidney stones, osteoporosis, and possibly heart disease and some cancers.  A diet focused on beans, whole grains and vegetables contains adequate amounts of protein without the ‘overdose’ most meat-eaters get.”

“What Is Hinduism?” :
Chapter 43 - “The Meat-Free Life”
“Five Reasons to Be a Vegetarian &
Ten Arguments Against Eating Meat”
Hinduism Today Magazine - Himalaya Academy, India - USA - 2007

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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