I am currently testing a new diet which I am calling the “Space Diet” It is meant to be a healthy and nutritionally complete diet, which can be grown with a minimum of volume, mass, energy, time and money – all precious resources in space. The basic ingredients of the diet are:
- plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, etc.)
These foods can be grown in an efficient way using aquaponics, and by choosing the right species can provide all the nutrition necessary for living in space, and hopefully will also be varied enough to satisfy space settlers. I am aiming for organic ingredients as much as possible, both because it’s healthier, and also because we probably won’t have, want, or need herbicides and pesticides in space colonies.
- all animal-based foods except for fish
- anything processed or that contains chemicals
It is therefore reasonably vegan other than the inclusion of fish; what some people call “pescavegan”. Fish are included in order to take advantage of the excellent efficiency gains inherent in aquaponics, in which the plants and fish effectively feed each other with their waste products. Also, fish are a great source of essential amino and fatty acids, and numerous essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12 which cannot be obtained from plants. While I oppose animal-based foods generally, due to my love of animals and opposition to the cruelty and environmental destruction involved in raising animals for food, most of this harm is associated with raising mammals and poultry, and fish are a healthy food which can be grown sustainably and with zero cruelty or environmental harm. We can slaughter fish using the humane Japanese technique of ikejime.
One of the main differences from any of the usual popular diets (vegan, vegetarian, paleo, ketogenic, whatever) is that the foods should be minimally processed. I am trying to select ingredients that have come more-or-less directly from the farm, or at least not altered much more than they could be in a kitchen.
I’m excluding bread, sugar and rice. Although we could potentially produce these in a colony if we take the necessary equipment, it might not be very efficient to grow wheat, rice or sugar cane hydroponically, and also personally I am expecting to observe fat loss on this diet, which these foods will interfere with.
Initially I was including honey, as I foresee that stingless bees will be employed in the colonies for pollination purposes, and to produce honey, which is a superior nutritious alternative to sugar. However, honey is not essential to the diet, and since I sweeten my coffee with stevia as a rule, I am not including it.
I foresee that chickens and eggs will be easy to add to a space farm, and would be an efficient way to add two popular protein foods to the diet while greatly increasing the enjoyment of the diet. However, to begin with I am keeping the diet simple, and representative of what we might be eating in an early-stage settlement.
I am also not including insects or algae in the diet as yet. Although these are often included in space diets, these foods are hard for me to obtain here on Earth; and besides, I don’t particularly want to eat them. For psychological reasons, I think we need to provide space settlers with foods they are used to and comfortable eating. That’s not to say we won’t grow and eat insects and algae in space, but simply that they aren’t included in this experiment.