If you’ve seen the fantastic new film The Martian, you know that a vegan diet (mostly potatoes) plays an integral role in the survival of astronaut Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon.
What you may not know is that in a case of life imitating art, NASA is actually planning the first manned mission to Mars and the astronauts traveling there will eat an entirely vegan diet.
That’s right. According to a recent article, “So far NASA’s Advanced Food Technology (AFT) project has developed over 100 vegan recipes for the future Mars six-to-eight person crew. Why vegan? Well, simply because it is not feasible to preserve meat and dairy projects long enough for the trip. Plus, it is easier to grow fruit and vegetables than to store cattle!”
Standard astronaut fare typically consists of freeze-dried or liquid meals. While these vegan meals will also come pre-prepared, they will be supplemented by vegetables grown in Martian greenhouses, giving astronauts more freedom to choose what they’re cooking.
This move not only makes logistical sense and guarantees that astronauts will benefit from a nutrient-rich plant-based diet, but also ensures that no animals are harmed by humankind’s next giant leap into space.
But you don’t need to be an astronaut to reap the benefits of a vegan diet. Click here for a list of easy-to-prepare, delicious vegan recipes.