Now then. This may seem far fetched. But I am about to prove that the most viable food to bring up there... are mars bars.
I know, I know Excuse the terrible pun, but I am deadly serious when I say this. The materials and byproducts created in the process of manufacturing a mars bar could sustain a person for a sustained period.
So follow along as I list off the benefits of the bar and all that goes into it
The Mars Bar
The bar itself serves one main purpose, morale. People are known to work harder and strive when there is a clear goal set ahead. And when this eventual goal is something as sweet as a candy bar they have not eaten in years, they will give it all they have. Imagine if you had to live off of MREs and the option of a candy bar was put ahead of you. This collective goal would incentivize people to work together for a final goal
The next sub purpose of this candy bar is simple. Colonisation means children eventually. Kids love candy and it is clear enough why this would be useful in this scenario.
Nutritionally, this sweet bounty (not the chocolate), is not the most healthy in high doses but the empty sugar calories can provide for short bursts in the events that these colonists grow tired from overexertion. This would be a very situational food for raising blood sugar and keeping people working.
Having worked together to achieve this final goal of a candy bar would be a momentous occasion for all involved and would condition people to do better in future. This long project would teach people to work together as a team and make sure they learn that working together like this yields great rewards.
In the colonists quest to create chocolate they would first need the active ingredient, cocoa beans.
There are numerous applications to these beans. First a fibre content useful for easy digestion, this could possibly be formed into a supplement for the colonists during their hard trek to their final goal.
Next on the list is of course the famous original use of the cocoa bean, a hot or cold drink made by the people of ancient Aztec and Mayan cultures. these drinks were used recreationally but also provided the people with useful vitamins and minerals to keep them sustained. An oily substance that floated to the top of the drink was then used to protect the skin from the sun as they lived in a very hot environment. The applications here are clear. The oil can be used on machines due to being non corrosive and also on the colonists to keep their skin protected on hot mars days.
The next use is the white substance that grows around the beans that what used in the fermentation process regularly for making wines and other drinks by these early cultures. While whines and spirits are not needed in this mission, it will definitely be wanted. And as for a practical application. Further fermentation will lead to a flammable fuel to further make the colony self sustaining via a bio fuel powered colony.
The initial startup cost would be high due to the high heat and tropical conditions needed to grow these but modern greenhouse technology today can do this with no problem. There are numerous means to source water as seen in mars survival fiction everywhere so we can leave the issues of watering plants out of this. The hydroponic garden could solve this issue with no hitches, allowing us to move onto our next produce.
Coconuts (Maybe Bounty bars are possible!)
Now this may seem the more far fetched idea out of the bunch. But the coconut is one of the most versatile produce items out there. Not only can the shell be used as a rudimentary tool if a colonist is in a pinch, these handy nuts can be transported as water storage for colonists going on long distance missions. The rind can be eaten on these missions as well, keeping a person sustained as they travel. The hair and other fibres on the coconut can then be used as a raw material for rope making, vital in further construction on the red planet.
But what does this have to do with mars bars? Simple. Coconut oil will be the main oil used in all stages of production in creating the sweet treat. From the chocolate to the nougat.
Coconut sugar can be harvested from the coconut trees to make the sugar for the chocolate and nougat as well as the caramel filling within the Mars bar.
Prior to the creation of the mars bar these oils and sugars can be used in cooking and other means in order to keep the colonists sustained. Dried food, secondary to the initial rations, would be packed to be cooked along side these ingredients to keep the initial weight down on good faith that the colonists could create sugar and oil on their own using the saplings provided to themselves.
Coconuts are a nutritious source of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. they are full of calcium, which is important for strong bones, as well as potassium and magnesium, as well as of electrolytes to help with the sugar. The electrolyte content in coconut water has been known known to have the same electrolyte levels as human plasma, and has even been documented to have been used for plasma transfusions on humans. Look no further than here for more health benefits of the coconut
Nuts! our final ingredient and an important element to the mars bar. Nuts are needed to create the nougat. Not only this but the milk required for the chocolate can be sourced from almonds as well.
Nuts are a sustainable source of protein for our colonists, which is important for muscle repair and gain. Almond milk can be used as a milk substitute and a drink for when colonists are off work and the nuts themselves can be used to make a lovely trail mix for longer missions once again. all the ingredients for a nut and chocolate trail mix are already there!
Almonds are a good source of vitamin E, copper, magnesium and protein. They also contain high levels of healthy unsaturated fatty acids. Almonds contain high levels of fiber, phytosterols, vitamins, other minerals, and antioxidants, which may help prevent cardiovascular disorders.
The final, vital ingredient for our mars bars are Chia seeds. These seeds are an excellent sustainable substitute for eggs and have numerous health benefits. other than working as a replacement for eggs in most cooking dishes, these seeds can be mixed into foods and rations to increase the nutritional value.
By mixing in Chia seeds into foods colonists can increase their dosages of: omega-3 fatty acids, Fibre, Antioxidants, and minerals. In the event that any colonist is born with celiacs, the seeds are gluten free. and to make for easy eating and preparation, the seeds can be digested whole, making these foods easy to snack on and versatile. another ingredient to add to the trail mix right there.
- Cocoa beans & many of their solids and byproducts
- Coconut oil
- Coconut Sugar
- Almond milk
- Chia seeds (egg replacement)
- Coconut sugar
The mars bar and all of the foods required to create it in this limited environment could easily sustain a colony of people subsisting on the products used to make the mars bar followed by a desert of a mars bar.
Other meals could be made from these products following the mars bar, with other, slower growing, ingredients to be added later when a sustainable supply was created. Take for example a Nut roast using those almonds and chia seeds.
I have been Tadg, and that was how a mars bar is the most sustainable food on mars.