Bicentennial to Tercentennial

Greens and salad vegetables are being munched and crunched by Americans to the tune of 23 pounds per year. Crisp salads, textured cress and endive, specialty lettuce, and a host of exotic greens regularly add flavor and fiber to American diet. Good taste and sound nutrition in combination. You say: "Please pass me the green stuff." But what do I do? Should I hand you a dinner salad, or a stack of American dollars? How food patterns have changed: do you remember a time before salad bars?


Can humans travel to Mars and return? A manned journey to Mars is a 12 month round trip. What would astronauts eat on outward and homeward voyage? What would they eat on the Martian surface?

The space shuttle is not designed to carry enough food to meet astronaut needs on the MMM (i.e. Manned Mars Mission). One solution is to grow food aboard the shuttle. What variety and kinds would be required? The solution is to select foods that balance known human nutritional requirements. Meats cannot be carried to supply food for 12 months, so plants will be selected and grown aboard the shuttle. These plant foods, however, must have specific characteristics. They must grow well in a hydroponics or a bio-regenerative life-support system where human solid waste (feces) and liquids (urine and dirty water) could be used to sustain plant growth needs. Species selected must be quick-growing, and small at maturity. Experiments already have been conducted on: carrots, celery, chard, lettuce, rice, soy bean, sweet potatoes, and wheat. Since plants would be the key components of the MMM, and for the majority of the journey to, from, and during the period spent on Mars, astronaut diet would be primarily vegetarian. Since America's best known astronaut reported that . . . Food tastes much more bland in space . . . (John Glenn, October 31st, 1998), certain condiments, meat flavorings, spices and sweeteners could be carried aboard the shuttle to make the plant-based recipes more appetizing. [10: 1]

Did You Know?

Can Label, White House Vegetables


General Washington was not trained in medicine but was a keen observer of his troops. He knew that edible wild greens improved health and relieved scurvy . . .

As there is a plenty of common and French sorrel; lamb's quarters, and water cresses, growing about camp; and as these vegetables are very conducive to health, and tend to prevent the scurvy and all putrid disorders . . . the General recommends to the soldiers the constant use of them, as they make an agreeable salad, and have the most salutary effect. The regimental officer of the day [is] to send to gather them every morning, and have them distributed among the men.

    General Order
    Headquarters, Middle-Brook
    June 9th, 1777
    George Washington
[10: 2]

Seed Catalogue Cover


Iceberg lettuce, developed in 1894, has a compact head, due to its many leaves. It received its name because it was seen as remaining crisp and cool as an "iceberg," even in summer. Previously, lettuce varieties were seasonal, highly perishable, and available in local markets only during Spring or Fall. After the introduction of iceberg lettuce, and marketing by railroad, Americans could have their salads throughout the year.
[10: 5]

Seed Catalogue Illustration


During the late 19th century, the word salad referred to cooked salads, whether escarole, hot or cold slaw, potato salad, or sauerkraut. Fresh green salads remained the exception well past the turn of the century. The shift toward green salad was partially due to the development of refrigerated rail cars which could bring perishable greens to market.
[10: 4]

Earthrise from the Moon


Sample Mercury flight menus:

February 20th, 1962    Glen
  Pureed applesauce in tubes

May 24th, 1962    Carpenter
  Unidentified, blended,
  high calorie cubed foods

October 3rd, 1962    Schirra
  Pureed peaches, beef
  and vegetables in tubes

Sample Gemini flight menus:

Meal Option 1

  Beef and gravy
  Date fruitcake

Meal Option 2

  Beef bites
  Potato salad
  Pineapple fruitcake
  Orange drink

Meal Option 3

  Beef and gravy
  Tuna salad
  Cheese sandwich
  Apricot pudding
  Orange drink
[10: 6]


1976 American Bicentennial celebration

1984 AIDS virus identified

1986 First Test-tube baby conceived

1992 Cold War ends

1996 Mars landing

1997 Food irradiation approved

20?? AIDS vaccine and cure developed

20?? Global population growth stabilized

20?? Humans colonize Moon and Mars

2076 American Tercentennial celebration

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