When thinking about what life is like in space, most people tend to think about the excitement of being weightless and the amazing journey to outer space and all of its mystery. However, regardless of our whereabouts or demanding tasks, we still have to answer to our stomachs to keep us going.
A nutritious diet is important for any human being no matter their job title but when it comes to being an astronaut a healthy diet is critical to their performance. So when you have the absence of gravity in outer space how must one eat? Dry foods such as M&Ms™ seem easy and quite fun to just simply float around and try and toss in your mouth but astronauts have to rely on more than just candy.
Amazingly modern technology has allowed astronauts to be able to consume all types of foods in outer space including, fruits, nuts, peanut butter, chicken, beef, seafood, candy, brownies, and more with beverages such as coffee, tea, orange juice, fruit punches and lemonade to choose from.
Even condiments such as ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise can be used. Seasonings such as salt and pepper must be used in liquid form to not only protect the astronauts from floating salt and pepper that can become a painful problem their eyes and nose, but to also protect the air vents as well. In addition, some foods are ready to eat while some require water such as pasta to make them ready to eat, similar to foods consumed on Earth.
Preparation of these food items however is very different from our comfortable setting here on Earth. In outer space there are no refrigerators but only heating elements to warm the food. All food is also packaged by specially designed materials to keep the food from spoiling and has other cool features that keep the food from flying away and provides easy storage.
So, while it may be fun to entertain the idea of chasing our food around in a weightless environment, we can be grateful here on Earth for dry salt and pepper, cold, crisp fruit and veggies, and the ease of eating a simple meal.