HARAI and the Deep Space Diet
As digital tycoons and aviation entrepreneurs take pleasure cruises in outer space, and manned missions to the red planet are planned for the not-too-distant future, there is growing discussion of the perils of long-duration travel beyond the earth’s biosphere. The potential physiological effects of prolonged weightlessness, sensory deprivation, cosmic radiation and the deep space diet are being studied on the International Space Station. Yet the ISS is just 250 miles from earth; the distance to Mars is 140 million miles.
But even for the billions of us with no chance of ever leaving terra firma life can be eerily like flying through space. Gravity still glues us to our chairs, to be sure, but we live in climate-controlled rooms, work odd shifts, nibble highly processed foods of unknown origin, and socialize like space travelers, our digitalized words and images beamed and reconstructed across continents and oceans.
One of the concerns of NASA scientists who ponder the physiological effects of space travel is bone health. Our bones need vitamins D and K, processed by our good gut bacteria and digestive enzymes, to grow and stay strong. But with essential sunlight blocked in space, vitamin D production falls off a cliff. And vitamin K comes largely from fresh cruciferous vegetables, like spinach, kale, mustard greens and broccoli – not much of which is to be found in the Mar’s mission pantry.
Another source of vitamin K is fermented foods, like Europe’s traditional cheeses and Asia’s soy products, including miso and Japan’s other superfood, natto. Items like these were once mainstays of their respective food cultures; these days they are being replaced wholesale with hastily processed GMO substitutes full of 'certified' additives and addictive chemical flavorings.
If you win a ticket on a Virgin Galactic cruise, or have twenty million dollars to splurge on an orbiting satellite vacation, we suggest taking along HARAI, the fermented digestive supplement made with extracts of 32 organic fruits and vegetables. And if you’re encapsulated in your office or room for weeks or months on end, eating like an astronaut on a voyage to Mars, we recommend the same. Show a little love to your gut; your bones will thank you.