Food on Mars

And what do we eat here? If you have followed my blog these last few years, you know that at MDRS and HI-SEAS we have plenty of freeze-dried food and that we can cook. Here it is different! We have rations from the Polish army and we only rarely cook. These rations contain foods that are shelf-stable, but not freeze-dried because they need to be able to be consumed without preparation, without a need of rehydrating.

Content of one bag of food for one day.

We have one food pack per person and per day containing: two canned meat boxes (1 paté and 1 spam), one hot meal, three dry cumin cookies bags, one fruit bar and one sweet drink for a total of 1700 calories. Additionally we have one cereal and nut bar of about 260 calories. And we also have other ingredients such as: rice waffles, chinese soups, canned corn, some small freeze-died veggies, sunflower seeds, almonds, and cashew nuts. We grow aromatic herbs in our “biolab” and we have a fair stock of spices, which enables us to correctly season our dishes!

Biolab (left) and harvest from biolab (right)

For lunch, we eat our hot meal. We have four choices: rice with small vegetables and chicken, rice with small vegetables and pork, beans with sausage, and cabbage with sausage and pork meat. In order to warm up these meals, we have a pocket filled with a chemical that has a highly exothermic reaction with water producing heat in the form of water vapor that enables us to heat our meals.

Hot meal: here rice with chicken being warmed up (left) and ready to eat (right).

Usually in the evening we eat our canned meat with dry cookies, that we enhance with sipices, freeze-dried vegetables, and aromatic herbs. We also eat Chines soups some evenings, in order to bring variation in our meals.


Our spam on a dry cookie with spices and aromatic herbs.

For breakfast we essentially eat the same thing as for dinner : dry cookies and canned meat. Well mostly my crew mates. I prefer to eat cereals and nuts bar, with seeds.

We also tried to bake bread twice, but with a microwave oven, because we don’t have a regular oven. It was a little bit complicated and our bread looked like a bread brick! But it was tasty, though a bit dry.

Pain 2

Our bread – second trial.

Our food and water is not entirely stored in the kitchen or in the storage. Why? Because on Mars in case of a problem on one of the modules (depressurization for example), we would lose all our food and water at once. So we store food and water in different modules: kitchen and storage of course, but all dormitory, and operations room. And talking about emergency situation, we learned this afternoon that the cargo that was supposed to resupply us had a problem: we will need to ration our food starting with dinner tonight!

I made an educational video for the middle school Albert Camus (Clermont Ferrand), explaining well the life in the hab and what we eat. You can find it here: