Food News, Week of June 26: Gardening on Mars, Help West Virginia, and Endangered Wheat

July 01, 2016
Growing Food on Mars with NASA
Courtesy of NASA, food production on Mars

At least four crops grown on simulated Mars soil are edible,” say scientists of Wageningen University & Research. The team has grown 10 crops, and so far, 4 have low enough heavy metal content to be deemed safe to eat by the FDA and the Dutch Food Agency. They’re fundraising to test the other 6 crops, and if all goes well, they hope to throw a Martian dinner party for their supporters.  

After this week’s devastating floods in West Virginia, the state faces tens of millions of dollars in agricultural losses, mainly livestock and hay. Additionally, farmers and home growers have been warned of bacterial contamination for any soil that came in contact with the floodwaters, lasting a full year. To donate to relief efforts in WV, click here.

Hawaii becomes the first state to fund a tax credit for organic farmers. Even though federal programs also exist to help organic farmers, it’s usually not enough. By adding $2 million to the pile, Hawaii’s committing to a sustainable, organic future.

Researchers at Clemson University have brought purple straw wheat back from the brink of extinction. With its high protein and low gluten content, it’s perfect for making whiskey or cake. We love both of these things, so this is great news!

The Center for Food Safety is raising awareness for GMOs and the value of reading labels. They’re collecting your Facebook photos of GMO labeling on products from some of our biggest food companies including ConAgra, Kellogg’s, General Mills, and others.