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Cooking in space at the Restaurant at the end of the universe

Six month have passed already since the beginning the Futura mission and Node 1, our personal “Restaurant at the end of the universe” has witnessed many space meals, with dishes rehydrated or heated in our food warmer. Usually our dishes are ready to eat or at least very easy to assemble: quick and easy! Did I mention already that my favorite dish is the wonderful quinoa salad with mackerel by Stefano Polato, the official chef of the Futura mission and of Outpost42? But the curry chicken with mushrooms and peas is great as well. They are full meals, healthy and delicious! I took with me a pretty good supply of read-to-eat pouches, but I also have the ingredients in separate pouches: it’s possible to assemble them onboard, although it can be quite a challenge in weightlessness. Take a look! [youtube 4exaXdPKS3Y] [youtube gRllv78Gax8] It’s a bit of work, for sure, but I enjoy being able to change the quantities of the different ingredients a bit to vary the overall taste. I simply recreated the recipes of our chef Stefano, because I’m not a very creative cook. But maybe you have some ideas to suggest for my very last week onboard? Maybe a meal according to the principles we’ve been talking about on Outpost42. Here are my favorite ingredients here onboars, some from my bonus food and some from the ISS standard menu. Why don’t you try your recipe at home and send us a picture? Then we can see the difference making them in space. Or, if you’re prefer, you can create the Futura space recipes in your home kitchen. It’s easy, here Stefano showed me how to prepare them. And don’t forget to send us a picture! (On twitter with the hashtag #SpaceFoodAtHome or if you prefer Facebook just post them as a comment to this post). Power bar with Goji, chocolate and spirulina [youtube CYTFooquHjo&index=1&list=PLbyvawxScNbshQN7ZDLEaAW3WO-2sLzb_] Whole red rice with turmeric chicken [youtube qku3aZpnU88&index=3&list=PLbyvawxScNbshQN7ZDLEaAW3WO-2sLzb_] Quinoa salad with mackerel and vegetables [youtube sCRYMrW1e6Y&index=2&list=PLbyvawxScNbshQN7ZDLEaAW3WO-2sLzb_] Samantha

It's rocket fuel


Animal protein: quality over quantity

In the second half of the 20th century the global consumption of meat increased fivefold, from 45 million tonnes consumed in 1950 to 250 million tonnes nowadays. The Food and Agriculture Organization estimates meat consumption is expected to double by 2050.

Today, in industrialized countries people consume an average of 224 g of meat per capita per day (over 81 kg per person per year) compared to an average of 30 g (almost 11 kg of meat a year per person) consumed in Africa.

Figures related to the animals slaughtered each year are exorbitant. 58 000 million chickens are slaughtered annually worldwide, 11 000 million in China and 9000 million in the United States alone. If you take other species into account, the numbers are still high: 1383 million pigs; 517 million sheep; 430 million goats; 296 million cows… In recent years, the consumption of meat has increased in China, India and most countries where a new middle class is emerging coupled with demographic growth.

Increased worldwide demand results in a massive growth of industrial production of meat and, therefore, concentration of power in the hands of a few large companies that can meet market demand. This transformation of the livestock sector and meat production has a long series of negative consequences on the environment, animal welfare, social equality as well as the health and quality of human life.

Everyone can contribute to improve the situation and change this trend however. For example you can: consume less meat; buy better quality; vary the species and races of animals you eat; choose different cuts; be wary of low prices; favour meat from locally-bred animals and avoid imported products as much as possible; learn to read product labels; consider animal welfare; ; be curious and ask your butcher for more information or visit a farm to see how animals are raised.

Finally remember that giving up some things often has an up-side: eating less meat is not a punishment, your health will benefit and so will the environment and animal welfare. “Replace” meat with tasty, seasonal food  and you will not even miss it!

Silvia Ceriani

For years, Slow Food is trying to raise awareness among consumers about eating better quality and less meat. This year, from 4 to 6 June, the international event Slow Meat will be held in Denver on this subject (https://www.slowfoodusa.org/slow-meat-2015), it is organised by Slow Food USA. To know more about Slow Food, click here: (https://www.slowfood.it/quanta-carne-mangiamo/).

It's rocket fuel | Protein and muscles