An investigation carried out by NASA, in which they studied the viability of food cultivation at the International Space Station (ISS), has concluded that vegetables grown in space, specifically red romaine lettuces, have much higher nutrient levels than expected.
The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science, highlights that these vegetables were also totally free of microorganisms, had a good taste and, above all, are safe for human consumption.
This experiment was carried out in between 2014 and 2016 in the Vegetable Production Systems (Veggie), where researchers used sterilized seeds, LED lighting and an irrigation system in the cultivation process inside growth chambers.
The Space Station researchers themselves were the first to eat the vegetables grown in space; later they managed to send some vegetables to Earth for analysis, revealing that the lettuces that grew in space contained a greater concentration of potassium, sodium, sulfur, zinc, and phosphorus.
This discovery has taken the entire scientific community by surprise. Especially NASA, which makes a lot of sense, as it means that astronauts will be able to feed themselves better with vegetables when they are on missions that involve a lot of time in the space; thus avoiding having to continue to consume highly processed foods that can be stored for a long time, which usually lose all properties as they are stored so long and lead to having a diet poor in essential nutrients for humans.