Food technology may have evolved a lot but nonetheless people need to feed on fresh foods as well. Astronauts can live for some time with long-lasting or frozen foods but these foods for various reasons do not have valuable substances for the organism and vitamins such as C and K.
Given that long-term manned missions are planned with first natural ones on Mars, and the creation of manned bases and later colonies on the Moon and Mars, the presence of fresh food is more than necessary for the smooth nutrition of humans in them.
For this reason, in recent years at the International Space Station, as well as experiments with simulated space environment, efforts have been made to cultivate various plants that are food for humans such as vegetables and fruits.
These efforts are based on revolutionary methods of cultivation with artificial light and without the need for watering. Some of these efforts have been successfully successful since the crop has been reached in space. A sort of red lettuce was successfully cultivated at the International Space Station, which even consumed the station crew. A potato on a simulated Martian soil was successfully grown recently.
NASA is working with the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden in Miami and several botanists and gardeners in an ambitious program involving 15,000 botanical students. Students were invited to create a simulated space environment in the laboratories of their universities and schools and to plant several plants there. This is a four-year program that began two years ago.
According to the US space agency so far 106 kinds of vegetables have been identified that can be cultivated in space. Among them are different types of lettuce and cabbage and as it became known in the next stage of the experiments, tomatoes will be grown.