Suggestions for crops grown in controlled ecological life-support systems, based on attractive vegetarian diets.

Author(s): 

Salisbury FB, Clark MA.

Year Published: 

1996

Journal: 

Adv Space Res.

Category: 

Study Design: 

Abstract: 

Assuming that crops grown in controlled ecological life-support systems (CELSS) should provide a basis for meals that are both nutritious and attractive (to taste and vision), and that CELSS diets on the moon or Mars or in space-craft during long voyages will have to be mostly vegetarian, a workshop was convened at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. on 19 to 21 January, 1994. Participants consisted of trained nutritionists and others; many of the approximately 18 presenters who discussed possible diets were practicing vegetarians, some for more than two decades. Considering all the presentations, seven conclusions (or points for discussion) could be formulated: nutritious vegetarian diets are relatively easily to formulate, vegetarian diets are healthy, variety is essential in vegetarian diets, some experiences (e.g., Bios-3 and Biosphere 2) are relevant to planning of CELSS diets, physical constraints will limit the choice of crops, a preliminary list of recommended crops can be formulated, and this line of research has some potential practical spinoffs. The list of crops and the reasons for including specific crops might be of interest to professionals in the field of health and nutrition as well as to those who are designing closed ecological systems.