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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Eating in Orbit: How Does Space Food Work?

Flanders, Netherlands
Flanders, Netherlands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Terrance Franklin

Are you aware how astronauts eat their daily dietary intake if they're in space? Ever thought about how they may intake and swallow their food while they are suspended on air, weightless. The secret's in the planning. We always eat our meals with feet on the ground however it is different when you're outside of the earth. There are considerations regarding how meals are prepared - this involves the selection procedure, storage containers, plus the appropriate amount of vitamins and minerals. Space Food is somewhat more tricky than our typical stuff.

Usually, we prepare our foods like cooking or preserving but not for the astronauts. They can choose which food to eat but it must be prepared eight to nine months before the mission. How complicated can these preparations be? Think of it this way, when we prepare our meals, how often do we really think how many calories there are? Or are we even conscious about the vitamins and minerals each food contains? I would say not quite to no. Space foods are prepared not by the chef from the most expensive restaurant in town but by dietitians, engineers and food scientists combined. Can you imagine what does a space food looks like or its taste.

All the same, the joint effort should make sure that each individual astronaut is eating the correct diet necessary for their body to adjust to the space environment. A good example is the intake of iron. Should you be in outer space, you have got a fewer number of red blood cells. This means that you'll need less iron when you're out there than while you're here. In regards to just how these foods could be eaten, because it is impossible for you to cook it out there, space foods were being pre-cooked and packed independently. Astronauts will enjoy their best foods by heating or simply adding boiling water.

For anyone who is considering how dull the space food experience might be for any astronauts and if you are feeling sorry on their behalf simply because can't eat serious food, well rethink it. Space foods aren't in reality specialized foods but the same food items we have within our grocers. What about Tortillas? Shrimp rolls? Hot spices? Fat free yogurt? Cookies? H2o? Soda pop? Fruit drinks? They could have it all in space. But because they are on outer space, those foods will really look dull inside their packing containers but they certainly will taste exactly the same just like the way they taste here on the planet. I'm wondering if any astronauts would likely still lobby for that good food.

Space Food has moved quite some distance from flavorless to tasty these days. Considering that the very first days of space research, versions have been coming to make the food good tasting. Although astronauts can not consume the food the same way that we do, at least the foodstuff will not likely taste different than it does right here. Although the astronauts are miles away from ground, bringing with them something that is earthly, much like the food that we have can certainly make them feel like they are somehow, not really far away from home.

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