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
If your child does not like to eat vegetables, a new gaming app may be of help. Researchers have developed the app designed to entice kids to healthy eating options through exposure to various vegetables.
Named Vegetable Maths Masters, the app unveils the world of vegetables for children between the ages of 3 and 7 years via a maths gaming app where children can practise core maths skills.
Depending on the child’s age they can count with vegetables, draw numbers with vegetables, add/subtract with vegetables and practise multiplication and division.
“We have developed an app which draws on psychological research to integrate different methods known to increase interest in vegetables and eagerness to try them,” one of the researchers Claire Farrow from Aston University in Britain said in a statement.
“Social norms also influence food preferences, for example if child characters in the game like and enjoy eating vegetables, research suggests that children are more likely to try them,” Farrow added.
In order to play, the kids need to choose a character, then feed it 10 different vegetables after which, the character gives a positive feedback. They earn stars as they complete problems which can be traded for props to decorate an animated vegetable.
Parents get a say in the game too, by selecting the vegetables (from a choice of 10) they want their children to play with.
“The game is based around psychological research which suggests that children become less weary of vegetables and more willing to taste them the more that they are repeatedly exposed to them,” Farrow added.
The free app is available for download from iTunes and Android, the Aston University statement added. (IANS)