Male astronauts headed to Mars could thrive on this vegetarian salad

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There are a couple of odd statements in this article.

One is that people in weightlessness burn more calories than people in Earth's gravity. That seems counter-intuitive. Especially considering the muscle atrophy demonstrated by long-term space missions. Or, is it the exercise regime prescribed for fighting muscle atrophy that is resulting in higher caloric need than when on Earth?

The other odd thing is the admission that " additional supplements are needed to provide all of the micronutrients a male astronaut needs while living and working in space." Probably including some protein amino acids that we humans can't metabolize for ourselves. So, is there are freeze-dried steak dinner needed for those "micronutrients" to supplement the vegetarian salad?
 
Did you see the salad that they developed?
Yes. I noted "kale", among other things. I remembered its effect when you brought up digestion issues regarding steak.

Don't get me wrong, I like salads. But, as part of a varied diet. Living on that salad with a "protein pill" for dessert for a whole mission to Mars and back does not sound like "optimum" to me.

I used to quickly tire of "gorp" ("good old raisins and peanuts" mixture, actually with some M&Ms mixed in) while back packing for even as little as 2 days. I found that not mixing the ingredients , so separately eating nuts, dried fruits, chocolates and jerky of various types (usually home made) allowed me to not get disgusted with what I had to eat while out in the wilds for weeks at a time.

Similarly, when on a sailboat in Maine for a couple of weeks, I actually got tired of eating lobster.

I would think food taste could become an out-sized issue for the psychological well being of a crew with little to do on the way to Mars besides exercising to stay fit enough to be able to walk when they get there.
 
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Jan 4, 2024
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Steak is heavier than kale. Secondly, the salad was part of the optimal diet, not the only diet. This is only the beginning. Thirdly, had it not been for your use of the eye roll after giving your original comment the benefit of the doubt, you cemented coming across as condescending and self-centered.
 
The "eye roll" emoji had to do with the indelicate image of astronauts biologically producing methane in a closed cabin space - for months at at time, and how this "optimum diet" might have some "unintended consequences".

There are a lot of considerations for feeding astronauts on long missions. Unfortunately, the links lead to a paywall, so the only info we get about this study is what is in the article, which is basically an expansion of what is in the abstract. So, it comes across to me as "overselling" the concept of vegetarian diet.

I think it is important to note that there is also work being done to produce "lab-grown meat" and that it might be an important factor for feeding astronauts enroute and in "continuous occupancy" situations on the Moon and Mars. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultured_meat .

I think that this study probably has more to it than the article provides. At least, it does indicate that there needs to be a "closed cycle" in the food production and utilization processes. So, it is important to consider what comes out of the astronauts to be recycled into more of what went in.

Regarding your interpretation of my attitude from my remarks, what I am really reacting to is the type of hype that headline writers put on articles like this. "Male astronauts headed to Mars could thrive on this vegetarian salad" makes it sound like male astronauts are going to just love eating it every day for months. The article says "It turns out the optimal space meal is a tasty vegetarian salad," and again that it "was found to be the optimal meal." The article's emphasis is on "the" optimum meal. That is what I am being critical about.
 
Yes, there was even a previous article that said that an all-female crew was optimum for a Mars mission. That was apparently based mainly on the general data about women averaging smaller than men, so taking less space and requiring less mass of support materials to maintain their smaller metabolisms. Not very useful thinking, considering that we already have chosen fighter pilots based on physical size for generations. The logical extension of the illogical premise is that NASA should only recruit midgets for astronauts to be used on long missions.
 
Jan 28, 2023
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Oh, I wouldn't discuss crew selection criteria at all. I find it abnormal and too old conservative to have a single-sex crew, but that's off topic. And about choosing a small stature is also irrelevant, considering the useful volume of the Starship and possible other future interplanetary transports .
 
Jan 4, 2024
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The "eye roll" emoji had to do with the indelicate image of astronauts biologically producing methane in a closed cabin space - for months at at time, and how this "optimum diet" might have some "unintended consequences".

There are a lot of considerations for feeding astronauts on long missions. Unfortunately, the links lead to a paywall, so the only info we get about this study is what is in the article, which is basically an expansion of what is in the abstract. So, it comes across to me as "overselling" the concept of vegetarian diet.

I think it is important to note that there is also work being done to produce "lab-grown meat" and that it might be an important factor for feeding astronauts enroute and in "continuous occupancy" situations on the Moon and Mars. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultured_meat .

I think that this study probably has more to it than the article provides. At least, it does indicate that there needs to be a "closed cycle" in the food production and utilization processes. So, it is important to consider what comes out of the astronauts to be recycled into more of what went in.

Regarding your interpretation of my attitude from my remarks, what I am really reacting to is the type of hype that headline writers put on articles like this. "Male astronauts headed to Mars could thrive on this vegetarian salad" makes it sound like male astronauts are going to just love eating it every day for months. The article says "It turns out the optimal space meal is a tasty vegetarian salad," and again that it "was found to be the optimal meal." The article's emphasis is on "the" optimum meal. That is what I am being critical about.

You did not imply unintended consequences, and if so, you should probably convey complete thoughts to avoid "misinterpretation." I provided a link to the actual study from a reputable source, and while the rest of the information is hidden behind a paywall, don't you have access that was previously provided to you, especially because you want to openly and publicly critique and especially because you recognize that you're limited in the information that you're receiving? Also, libraries are free.

Aren't these studies being developed by astronauts and people who are in the company of them? There was also an emphasis on could be. You have a personal vendetta against the vegetarian diet, and while I do not adhere to a vegetarian diet and KNOW that complete proteins are required in moderation, I did not get the impression that this article was "overselling" the concept of a vegetarian diet. Because this is a science-based article, I approached this topic as a scientist.

"
think that this study probably has more to it than the article provides. At least, it does indicate that there needs to be a "closed cycle" in the food production and utilization processes. So, it is important to consider what comes out of the astronauts to be recycled into more of what went in."

You didn't all of that from the article(s)? :rolleyes:

Also, I don't understand how you misinterpreted the article as overselling when the article distinctly noted that supplements were required with the vegetarian option. Space is a different environment. There are still studies being performed on the long-term effects of a micro-gravity environment on the body. There are many different factors to consider aside your dislike of, "vegetarian trendism," including but not limited to how heavier proteins and fats are digested in space. :rolleyes: The "salad" is composed of plant-based proteins and softer foods that allow for easier digestion. It is much harder and takes much longer to breakdown meats and from a gastrointestinal perspective, it would make sense that this diet would be the gentlest option.

Yes, I am well aware of the growth of meat on an "agar" plate, lol. That's pretty old information.

Before you approach something critically, you should be more curious and explore before saying something, especially if you're going to attach a negative connotation. Don't read between the lines. Read everything including what's in between.

Hey and fun fact, I found out about this study via www.weather.com, The Weather Channel, your trusted source for weather-based information. :) Have a good one.
 
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