If you're sending astronauts into deep space, or on towards Mars, food is going to be pretty important. Not only has it got to keep them alive, but it's also got to keep them sane, as eating porridge three times a day for a year is enough to drive anyone potty. Apparently Nutella is the secret weapon.
A recent $1m yearlong NASA study, that shoved six people in a domed-simulation of Mars on an isolated slope of a Hawaiian mountain, has just finished and the results are surprising. The aim was to discover which foods and foodstuffs were the best for long-term space travel.
What the fake astronauts discovered was that, although pre-packaged food lasted well, and even freeze-dried food tasted pretty good, they lacked fibre causing, well, issues for the eaters. Spam was also a favourite because it lasted forever and kept its taste, and the couscous was gobbled up almost immediately.
However, they also found that the food got boring really quickly, as you might expect, so comfort food was absolutely essential. Nutella came out on top, with the group discovering that they quickly began actually craving the chocolate spread, rationing it out to last the year.
NASA's next looking into whether it's possible to really grow your own food in space, and whether the fluid build-up in the head due to the lack of gravity causes problems with tasting food. Apparently it feels like you've permanently got a cold in space. Best bust out the raw garlic and Tabasco, then. [Daily Mail]