It’s Safe to Eat These 4 Crops Grown in ‚Martian Soil‘


A photo of the cress that was grown in normal, ‚moon‘, and ‚martian‘ soil. Image: Wieger Wamelink
Remember that scene in The Martian where actor Matt Damon grows crops in a makeshift greenhouse on Mars so he can eat them? There are people on Earth making that a reality.

By Emiko Jozuka | MOTHERBOARD

Since 2013, a Dutch researcher has successfully been cultivating crops and wild plant varieties in a soil that closely resembles that from the red planet and the moon. Now lab results have shown that four of his crops are safe for human consumption.

Wieger Wamelink, an ecologist at the Wageningen University in the Netherlands initially wanted to grow a garden in a computer simulation using the scientific data he had on Martian and moon soil. However, when he discovered that NASA sold “Mars soil”—soil that is found on Earth but shares similar chemical properties to Martian soil—Wamelink knew he had to try it out for real.

“Nobody could tell what would happen if you tried growing crops in this soil as NASA had made it to test habitats, rovers, and not for crop cultivation,” explained Wamelink. “People couldn’t even tell me what would happen if I added water to it.”

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