Space Vegetables Could Solve World’s Food Crisis

The seeds from which these giant veggies grew were fired into space, where they orbited the Earth for two weeks. Once they returned they were cultivated in hothouses, producing the monster specimens seen here.

China, which is behind the space fruit and veg, says they could be the answer to the world’s food crisis. China has been experimenting with space plants since the 1980s.

pumpkin

Previously it has claimed that the near zero gravity conditions – microgravity – have created high-yield rice and wheat plants, and tomatoes and peppers with harvests ten to 20 per cent greater than normal.

The most recent batch of 2,000 seeds was launched into orbit in 2006 on the Shijian 8 satellite. Afterwards they were cultivated and the best specimens selected for further breeding. The results include two-foot cucumhebers and 14lb aubergines. China says its giant fruit and veg have already been sold to Japan, Thailand and Singapore.

Researcher Lo Zhigang admitted he and his colleagues could not explain why time in orbit causes the seeds to mutate. But they suspect exposure to the cosmic radiation that bombards spacecraft in orbit, as well as microgravity, could play a part.

chilli

2 thoughts on “Space Vegetables Could Solve World’s Food Crisis

  1. Every time I make a pumpkin lantern, or roast meat with pumpkin, I also roast the pumpkin seeds. They are great source of goodness (heaps of zink) and they taste nice too. All these seeds need is just a simple quick wash and on any old pizza tray they get done to golden color pretty fast.

    Roasted Pumpkin seeds also make an outstanding vinaigrette. Crush them in a food processor or mortar and pestle and combine them with vinegar, oil, honey, dijon mustard, shallots, and either mint or tarragon. I’d recommend using a lighter vinegar such as sherry, banyuls, or champagne as something like balsamic would be too overpowering. This would probably taste really good with Haggi’s Pumpkin and Fennel salad.

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