Martian Weed and Pest Utility Research

As humanity seeks to transform Mars from an inhospitable place of certain death to a planet people will feel at home on, we will need to carefully manage the Martian ecosystem. This will necessarily be a multicultural undertaking. China, India, and Russia all have Mars missions planned. The United Arab Emirates is designing a city of over 600,000 to be built on Mars. Unlike Antarctica where most visitors are scientists and food is imported, Mars will be populated by families. Time, distance, gravity and the severe demands on Earth’s overstressed biosphere dictate that Martians will need to grow their own food.

As the massive logistic and technical hurdles challenging our presence on Mars are worked out, the process of cultural selection and design has already begun. Martian Tea believes open-minded cooperation and understanding will be paramount to survival on Mars. We propose that future Martian thinking can impact our present life on Earth.

The Martian Tea research team has observed that Sweden is often held up as a positive example of how government can serve a population. Universal healthcare and lengthy paternity leave are commonly referenced. However, even idyllic Sweden is not without problems.

In the United States, it’s easy to buy snacks made with cricket flour. Insect-based foods are not yet as common as Starbucks coffee, yet they are readily available. In Sweden, on the other hand, it is currently illegal to sell insect-based foods. Lack of sufficient medical studies is held up as a rationale, yet insects are a large and important part of many non-Swedish diets. Many areas in Sweden are overrun with protein-rich slugs, yet they are wasted.

Martian Tea wishes to simultaneously learn from Sweden’s progressive policies while challenging its irrational conservatism. Even in the most optimistic scenarios Martians will likely face situations similar to that of so many unfortunate Swedish farmers who find their crops plagued by slugs. How can they be stopped? How can they be eaten? Should selling slug-flour muffins really be illegal?
Erik Sanner

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