FOOD can be grown on the moon – paving the way for humans to colonize space.
Scientists say moon leeks and carrots may even be healthier than Earth fruits and vegetables.
They found that the stress of growing in foreign soil increases levels of protective compounds commonly found in superfoods like blueberries and kale.
The experts cultivated thale cress — a small flowering plant in the same family as cauliflower and broccoli — in 12 soil samples from the Apollo 11, 12, and 17 moon landings.
It’s the first time the experiment has been allowed, as the five-decade-old lunar debris is considered a “precious national treasure.”
All seeds germinated after adding fertilizer, water and light.
But although thale cress is edible, it’s far, far from tasty.
The researchers also found that the seedlings grew less well in soil from more exposed parts of the moon. These plants were more stunted with much darker but more nutrient dense leaves.
Professor Robert Ferl of Florida University said: “It’s really good news that plants can grow in lunar soil.
“Showing that plants grow on lunar soil is actually a big step towards being able to establish ourselves in lunar colonies.”
The breakthrough, published in the journal Communications Biology, comes as Nasa plans to return to the moon in 2025 as part of its Artemis mission.
Space biologist Prof Anna-Lisa Paul said: “The plants that responded most strongly to what we would call oxidative stress responses. . . they are the ones that turned purple.
“And that’s the same thing that’s in these dark red and purple fruits, which are healthy for humans because of their antioxidant properties.”
https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8787486/food-grown-on-the-moon/ Food can be grown on the MOON – paving the way for humans to colonize space