Going on an expedition to a high mountain could somehow be compared to a trip into space. It would be impossible in both cases to take a huge suitcase with everything that comes into mind. There is no room for ‘what-ifs’. So, resources are limited and you have to make the most of your backpack (or spaceship) during the many days you’ll be away from your couch, kitchen, and family.
This is how freeze-dried food came about. It’s just as good as regular food, or so they say. Freeze-drying is simply a method of preservation that makes foods last much longer without losing their nutrients. Freeze-dried foods take up less space and weigh less, and their shape may be adapted (most of them are powdered and can be stored in elongated containers) so that they are much easier to prepare when you’re away your ceramic hob at home.
Freeze-dried foods are usually stored in hermetically sealed plastic bags, after a freezing and thawing process in which they undergo vacuum and low atmospheric pressure conditions. In the astronauts menu you can find nearly anything: strawberries and other red fruits, pumpkins, beetroots, apples, tomatoes… These are the most common courses. Some others are more elaborate!
Astronauts can eat soups, pasta, meat or desserts, just like at home, as they take them into space in powdered form. Don’t make a funny face; you’ve probably tried it more than once and you don’t even know. For example, energy bars sold in vending machines and supermarkets are usually made with freeze-dried ingredients.