8 thoughts on “Fake Meat And Hydroponics”

  1. Ah yes, the joys of terroir.

    Apollo researchers like Dr. Walkinshaw hypothesized that one of the reasons that plants responded so well to the addition of Lunar regolith to their growing medium was because of all the trace elements distributed throughout the soil by aeons of impacts. Little subsequent research was done since the regolith wasn’t toxic, and pretty much everyone has used (incorrectly) regolith simulant ever since.

    I’m convinced that shipping bags of raw regolith back to Earth as a soil additive is a perfect deadhead cargo for the Lunar supply run.

    Not a big fan of hydroponics, but most American food is pretty tasteless already when compared with food I’ve had in other countries, so the consumer is already prepped for it. I do think we should be better applying the hydroponics tech we’ve developed for pot farms to help other countries with their food situations, but also think they really are best suited for growing plants like cannabis or other herbal medicines where you can focus the production of particular compounds by controlling the nutrient uptake.

    1. Beat me to it on the pot farms! My wife and I have done a fair amount of experimental dirt gardening (raised beds, containers, and those so-called self-watering containers). Everything tastes so much better it’s hard to eat a store-bought vegetable again. I own enough land I could probably raise pigs, chickens, and cows, but I’m too old for the work it would take.

      1. Should the stars align right, I do want to form a company that grows cannabis in regolith-enhanced soil on the Moon, to be exported to markets on Earth (and throughout Cislunar space) under the trade name Lunajuana. I would do other crops as well to exploit the terroir aspects of the trace-element-rich lunar regolith to see what kind of taste features we’ve lost in industrialized farming, as well as to explore what kind of genetic responses will be unlocked by providing previously unavailable or scarce chemical elements to the plants.

        Greenhouses on the Moon will be such a cool place to work. I wouldn’t mind being the guy providing those jobs.

  2. About 15 years ago I made some Mars soil simulant for a high school student for a science project, using red Georgia sand and various salts matching the proportions measured by the rovers. The simulant was mixed, then baked, microwaved, baked, microwaved, several times to sterilize it. She grew potatoes in it for her science project.

    That simulant was extremely hydrophilic. I couldn’t keep it in the open air or even the freezer for very long, as it would suck moisture from the air.

  3. This is interesting because I have watched A LOT of youtube videos on hydroponics but they never talked about flavor.

  4. The Agriculture Working Group (AgWG) of the Space Development Network considered hydroponics, soil, and hybrid approaches. We concluded on the hybrid approach because it makes it easiest to support microbial populations in association with the roots. Soil can be produced by either washing sieving regolith to concentrate granules of the right size or crushing rock. This helps mitigate the hazardous dust issue. The hybrid part is where one runs nutrient solution through the granular bed. The organics part of soil can be built up using algae and plant waste.

  5. If I’m going to settle on Mars, at least initially, it’s not because of the cuisine…

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