LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– High school students in Lakewood are showing off their culinary skills that they hope will be out of this world. Warren Tech students are creating recipes for astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
Three teams from across Colorado are trying their hand at what they call “space comfort food.” It includes zucchini pasta noodles, Asian zucchini pasta and butter pecan bisque soup.
“A comfort food for one culture may not mean the same thing to another. But for them to be able to have that, and to share it with those on board, which they often do share meals, is something that is quite interesting and remarkable for them to see,” said Mary Anderson, director of NASA HUNCH Culinary, Cherry Creek Schools.
In space, bacteria can grow quickly so they burgeoning chefs have to take that into account in creating their recipes. That means they have to take into account physiology and microbiology as well as ingredients.
Astronauts also have altered taste buds, so eating in space is like eating on Earth but with a cold. Their senses aren’t as sharp.
These students say they are concentrating on spicing up their recipes.
“We wanted a soup that had enough kick so that the astronauts who are in microgravity will be able to taste it and have all their senses when they eat our food,” said Eaglecrest High School student Ryan Ronish.
The chefs say they hope their meals help stave off bouts of deep depression astronauts reportedly encounter while orbiting the Earth in isolation.
“They’re away from home and it creates a lot of depression and a sense of loss because they’re not at home, they’re not able to enjoy food from home and I just hope that when they eat our dish they feel like, ‘Oh my gosh, this tastes so good I feel like I’m at home,'” said Grandview High School student Thandi Saunders.
It’s all part of a nationwide competition. From here, 10 schools will be selected to compete. They will face off this spring and the winner will get their recipe blasted off into space.