Space food in the media: On the multisensory design and marketing of food in space
There are a number of deadly-serious issues around the provision of food and astronauts' consumption behaviour when considering the planned long-haul mission to Mars. One major concern relates to the phenomenon of 'space anorexia', where astronauts, as they typically do, fail to consume the recommended daily food/nutrition intake while in space. It has been suggested that a lack of multisensory appeal may be one of the key problems for the design of space food currently. At the same time, there are also more mundane questions about the catering on board for those ultra-high net-worth individuals who will be amongst the first wave of space tourists. Considering how to make space food more multisensorially desirable, as well as making the experience of eating and drinking in space (more) enjoyable has, over the years, stimulated the creativity ofa number of designers, gastrophysicists, and star chefs. However, despite the various issues and challenges, the majority of the food 'research' that the public is likely to have come across in the popular press in recent decades can be seen as nothing more than merely expensive brand marketing, sometimes dressed up as 'scientific research'. From the very earliest days of manned space flight, it has been clear just how successful a marketing proposition it was for food brands to be linked to astronauts and space travel. That such marketing efforts should have proved so effective is, though, somewhat surprising given the traditionally poor reputation of space food, in terms of its lack of multisensory appeal, amongst astronauts.