The Global Food Nexus goes into Orbit

One of BSUFN’s special interest groups is the Global Food Nexus. We might need to review the name of this SIG because recent news from the International Space Station means that the global food system now stretches beyond the globe.

Last week NASA announced that astronaunts on the International Space Station orbiting Earth are now able to eat the lettuce they have been growing. Known as the ‘Veggie’ project, over the past year or so NASA have been undertaking a study on the International Space Station to grow food from seeds with the intention of developing a more sustainable means of space travel.

Astronauts are now able to grow and eat their own food – with some safety precautions and testing. This takes the global food system into orbit.

Crops growing on the International Space Station for the Veggie research project. Image: NASA, 2015

Crops growing on the International Space Station for the Veggie research project. Image: NASA, 2015

It is possible to argue that although the produce is grown and eaten in space, it is really still part of the global food system because all of the resources required for this process – people, physical infrastrucutre, soil, seeds – come from Earth. However, this current study on the International Space Station is being done with a long-term view to being able to provide a sustainable source of food for sapce travel to other planets, possibly with a view to growing crops on Mars in the future.

Other reports on the ‘Veggie’ project on the International Space Station can be found via NASA, The Guardian, and New Scientist, among others.

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