Vegetables grown on Mars-simulated soil found to be safe for human consumption

  • Dutch scientists worked in different greenhouses at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and grown ten crops on Mars and Moon soil simulants
  • The researchers successfully tested four out of the ten grown crops namely, radishes, peas, rye, and tomatoes, to be free of heavy metals
  • The four crops are said to have no dangerous levels of aluminum, copper, iron, manganese, zinc, arsenic, cadmium, chrome, nickel and lead

LONDON, England – Scientists found out that vegetables grown on soil similar to that found on Mars have been found safe for human consumption.

RT News mentioned in an article published on June 24 that Dutch scientists worked in different greenhouses at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, in order to grow crops on Mars and Moon soil simulants since 2013.

In the first experiment, the scientists found out that crops could grow on the soil simulants. Last year, the scientists mixed the inedible parts of the 2013 plants into the simulant and again succeeded to grow ten different crops and several of which were harvested.

However, during that time, it was not known whether the heavy metals such as cadmium, copper, and lead, which are present in the soil simulants, could contaminate the crops.

If plants absorbed the too high levels of heavy metals from the soil, the crops become poisonous when consumed.

An article by The Times of India said the researchers successfully tested four out of the ten grown crops namely, radishes, peas, rye, and tomatoes, to be free of heavy metals.

The four crops are said to have no dangerous levels of aluminum, copper, iron, manganese, zinc, arsenic, cadmium, chrome, nickel and lead, meaning the four crops are safe to eat.

“These remarkable results are very promising,” said Wieger Wamelink, a senior ecologist.

“We can actually eat the radishes, peas, rye, and tomatoes and I am very curious what they will taste like,” Wamelink added.

The researchers said the heavy metals’ concentrations in the plants were even lower than in the crops grown in regular soil on Earth.

“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.

Aside from heavy metals, the crops are also tested for vitamins, flavonoids, and alkaloids.

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