Minneapolis-based vegan company The Herbivorous Butcher will make meatless meals for a two-week simulated mission to Mars. The brother and sister founders of the vegan butcher shop created two dishes—a breakfast frittata with vegan egg, bacon, and jack cheese, and a dinner enchilada with vegan chorizo, breakfast sausage, and mozzarella in a whole wheat tortilla—which will first be frozen for a year and then thawed and cooked by the six participating astronauts during the simulation in the Utah desert. Furthermore, the siblings are attempting to grow zinnias and carrots on simulated Martian soil as part of the mission. Should all go well, the vegan meals will accompany astronauts into space as, according to research scientist Josh Borchardt, plant-based foods are a better-suited option for space travel. Similar space studies—such as The Mars Food Project—are currently testing the viability of other plant foods on The Red Planet, including potatoes, quinoa, spinach, and tomatoes.
Photo courtesy of Herbivorous Butcher