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Tips for Building Food Production and Delivery Systems

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Here are some ideas to help you learn more about your life-support system. Make sure you divide up the topics and share your findings on the Team Blog.

  • Study Canada's Food Guide and start a daily log of food eaten every day. Determine if your are meeting the daily requirements for the essential vitamins and nutrients.
  • Invite a public health nurse or dietitian to the class to talk about nutrition and Canada's Food Guide.
  • Make a sample meal plan for three days, one week or two weeks following Canada's Food Guide. Are all of the necessary nutrients included?  Consider what changes might be needed for a healthy diet.
  • Use a spreadsheet program to compare the costs of the various meal plans. Come up with the least expensive but most nutritious menus for Earth and for Mars.
  • Calculate the cost of feeding your habitat team for one week using one of the menu plans.
  • Examine the types of food that have been eaten by astronauts over the history of the space program. Look at how food is preserved on the Space Shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station. How appropriate are these methods for Mars?
  • Collect various foods packaged in different ways and discuss which foods could or could not be taken into space.
  • Research to discover the favourite foods of the Canadian astronauts and the most common foods taken on the Space Shuttle Discovery by these astronauts.
  • Conduct a survey of favourite foods for the habitat teams, CNM participants and mentors across Canada. Enter the information into a database program.
  • Collect regional recipes or space food recipes from across Canada and compile these into a Space Recipe Book. Use a database and desktop publishing program for this activity.
  • Experiment with different methods of food preservation and preparation for life on Mars.
  • Develop a new space food for Mars and an advertising campaign to market this product across Canada. Take regional differences and food preferences into account
  • Design a greenhouse or similar structure to grow your own food. What energy system would be available to give you the necessary conditions? How would this link with the water supply team?
  • Grow vegetables such as carrots or lettuce using hydroponics. Invite a speaker to the class to discuss this method of growing food.