SCIENCE

New Study Suggests Vegetables Grown On Mars Safe To Consume

  • Mary Nichols , Design & Trend Contributor
  • Jun, 26, 2016, 04:00 PM
Tags : science, space
Martian Crops
(Photo : Getty Image/ESA) Crops grown on Mars could be fit for human consumption, according to a new study.

The premise of the 2015 film, The Martian, could prove true according to a new study, which suggests that crops grown on Mars could be fit for human consumption. 

The Dutch study found that four types of vegetable and cereal crops cultivated in soil with a similar composition to that found on the red planet is safe to eat, writes The Guardian.

The scientists grew radishes, peas, rye and tomatoes grown in dirt that had been mixed on Earth to copy the make up of soil found on Mars. The research team, from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, found that the crops contained "no dangerous levels" of heavy metals - despite the heavy concentration of these in Martian soil.

"These remarkable results are very promising," senior ecologist Wieger Wamelink, said in a press release. "We can actually eat the radishes, peas, rye and tomatoes, and I am very curious what they will taste like."

If humans were to settle on Mars, they would have to plant and cultivate crops on the planet in order to ensure long-term survival on the planet.

The team of researchers has been experimenting with Martian grown crops since 2013 using soil developed by NASA. Since their simulations began, they have successfully grown 10 different crops.

Despite the positive results so far, the scientists are still unsure about which crops could be more sensitive to absorption of the heavy metals found in Martian soil, including copper, lead and cadmium.

A new crowd-funding campaign is providing the backing for further tests on the remaining six crop types that need further testing - including potatoes.

NASA has announced that it intends to send a manned mission to Mars by the 2030s, to explore the terrain and whether it could be suitable for human colonization. Elon Musk's SpaceX as well as the Dutch company Mars One are also undertaking similar projects.

"It's important to test as many crops as possible, to make sure that settlers on Mars have access to a broad variety of different food sources," Wamelink said in a press release.

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