Scientists in Antarctica have harvested their first crop of vegetables grown without earth, daylight or pesticides as part of a project designed to help astronauts cultivate fresh food on other planets.
Researchers at Germany’s Neumayer Station III say they’ve picked 3.6 kilograms (8 pounds) of salad greens, 18 cucumbers and 70 radishes grown inside a high-tech greenhouse as temperatures outside dropped below -20 degrees Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit).
The German Aerospace Center DLR, which coordinates the project, said Thursday that by May scientists hope to harvest 4-5 kilograms of fruit and vegetables a week.
While NASA has successfully grown greens on the International Space Station, DLR’s Daniel Schubert says the Antarctic project aims to produce a wider range of vegetables that might one day be grown on Mars or the Moon. VOA
The researchers conducted production life cycle environmental impact assessments at the farm level against three environmental indicators - greenhouse gas emissions, cumulative energy demand and land occupation
Are you planning to go vegan very soon? That’s good news for our home planet as a new study claims that a diet high in fruit and vegetables is better for the environment than one rich in animal products.
This is mainly due to the high energy requirements of livestock farming as well as the very large contribution of livestock to greenhouse gas emissions, said the study.
In addition, intensive livestock production is also responsible for significant biodiversity loss due to the conversion of natural habitats to grass and feed crops, the researchers noted.
The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, also found that organic food provides significant, additional climate benefits for plant-based diets.
“We wanted to provide a more comprehensive picture of how different diets impact the environment,” said Louise Seconda, the researcher at the Agence De L’Environnement Et De La Maitrise De L’Energie, an environmental protection organization in France.
“In particular, it is of considerable interest to consider the impacts of both plant-based foods and organic foods,” Seconda added.
For the study, the researchers obtained information on food intake and organic food consumption from more than 34,000 adults.
They used what is called a ‘provegetarian’ score to determine preferences for plant-based or animal-based food products.
The researchers also conducted production life cycle environmental impact assessments at the farm level against three environmental indicators – greenhouse gas emissions, cumulative energy demand and land occupation.