An automomous colony needs it's own food production. The following reasons apply:
Food that can be brought from Earth
- Several varieties of dehydrated food.
- Natural food that containes large amounts of fat and carbohydrates, such as nuts.
- Concentrated fruit juice.
- Light weight, high energy foods with a long shelf-life.
Local Production Methods
- Vegetable can be grown in greenhouses.
- Proteins, fat and carbohydrates can be produced by a biotechnological factory
- Animals, such as chicken, may be raised in sections of greenhouses.
- It must be taken into account that the production of 1 kg meat requires 7 to 16 kg of vegetable matter.
- In addition, it takes 2000 to 3000 litres of water to produce 1 kg of meat, it only takes 100 litres of water to grow 1 kg of grain. Water will be a very valuable commodity on Mars, so the first generation of settlers may well be vegetarian by necessity.
- [http://www.situations.org.uk/_uploaded_pdfs/KateThompsonwhatyoucandoresource.pdf Kate Thompson: What you can do resource - facts and figures about resource consumption for food production.