This will surprise you if you think that only people like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have reached Mars. Heinz, a tomato sauce and dressing maker, worked with the Florida Institute of Technology to grow tomatoes in soil that mimics that of Mars, and then make tomato sauce. This is called the Marz Edition.
To be honest, this is not a joke. The company has also launched an advertisement.
Feeding on a distant planet is definitely a difficult task. Astronauts have dehydrated food parcels, but if you are looking for colonies on different planets of the solar system, you need more than a food parcel and need to be self-sufficient.
Astrobiologist Andrew Palmer at Florida Tech is one such scientist looking for a way to solve this problem. At the university’s Advanced Manufacturing & Innovative Design, Palmer and his team repeated conditions similar to those of Mars in a greenhouse. They obtained soil from the Mohave Desert, which mimicked what occurs on Mars and produced light, temperature, and water conditions similar to those of the Red Planet. It’s no wonder why their experimental is called the Red House.
They joined Heinz for their tomato expertise & found four plant varieties that could grow in these difficult environments. After a small survey of 30 plants, the team discovered that they were actually doing only two varieties & expanded the experiment to 450 plants grown in individual buckets. The project took more than 2,000 hours and was eventually able to produce harvestable crops.
Obviously, the show was pretty good and meets the standard Heinz uses to make its unique ketchup. The company did just that and packed it in a special edition bottle. Before you ask, ketchup is not for sale, it is only available for a few limited in Heinz.
An interesting finding from the Palmers 450 plant experiment was that the yield was much lower than the team anticipated. Palmer believes that the team needs to complete the conditions needed to grow plants in a large, controlled environment. He added that the growth of other fruit & vegetable plants in the trough system would allow microorganisms to flourish in the system and reduce the spread of the disease. The experiment also provided insight into how it is possible to grow plants in the most difficult environments on the planet.
What’s more, the link to Heinz gives the public a big boost to Palmers’ research. Millions of people will read about Heinz Marz Ketchup, made possible by the scientific team at the Florida Technology. I think other researchers can use larger brands to carry out advance their research.