I saw this question:

Mostly this question (and some earlier knowledge about food & drink behaviour in space) made me think that which are those foods that would mean a serious threat for people in space?

My two ideas are: foods that make a lot of crumbs (like chips) since those are floating in air and it may enter to the lungs of people. And drink, with the same reason with drops.

This certainly is an interesting question. But is it on-topic here? First, I would say it's too broad - food, safety, etc. are all undefined.

But about the topic: Can we keep it? Should we keep it? It seems almost like it would be a better fit on Biology than here.


  • 2
    $\begingroup$ NASA has put a lot of thought into just this question. Humans were never designed to live in microgravity, so there's a lot to be aware of. (It's got it's own chapter in Packing for Mars, which is fast becoming my guide for the topicality on this site. ;) But, as you say, it's broad. I'm also concerned that superlative questions ("safest", "fastest", etc.) are indistinguishable from "getting to know you" questions. $\endgroup$ Aug 13 '13 at 20:30
  • $\begingroup$ @JonEricson Sure it's opinion-based and not too broad? $\endgroup$
    – Undo
    Aug 13 '13 at 20:32
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    $\begingroup$ Eh. It's both. ;-) $\endgroup$ Aug 13 '13 at 20:36
  • $\begingroup$ It's not really a subject I'm versed in (I'm a pretty good cook here on Earth, but we all say that, don't we? Heck, I'm sure I'd be a great cook in space! :P), but I find the topic interesting. If anyone thinks it could be edited to be less of "the bad stuff" and more of "the good stuff" and we can reopen it, please go for it. Maybe by splitting it into a few separate questions? $\endgroup$
    – TildalWave
    Aug 13 '13 at 21:14
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    $\begingroup$ @TildalWave: Yes that would be a start. I suggested asking about the dangers of chips in space. As the OP mentioned in a comment, they were asking a far more open-ended question, which is great for chat, but not so hot for Stack Exchange. The birthday cake question was (and is) a much better one for a focused Q&A site. $\endgroup$ Aug 13 '13 at 21:27
  • $\begingroup$ @Undo This is my question; I mentioned for Jon Ericcson below it that "I wanted to ask this question this way because there might be some kinds of food that may mean threat and we wouldn't expect for it. (e.g. pickles - just a funny example) Making it for one exact food type would give my main purpose away." That's why it seems too broad. $\endgroup$ Aug 13 '13 at 21:54

Perhaps a change to something like "What kinds of risks can food present to human safety in space?" might make this a more fitting question.

It could be specified that physiological/dietary and psychological/morale issues are not considered. (E.g., foods that generate unpleasant odors would not be considered dangerous even though such might reduce the functional efficiency of the astronauts and such a reduction could theoretically mean the difference between life and death in a crisis.)

By specifying the kinds of risks (and risks rather than foods), a complete answer could be of reasonable length (I think)--not too broad. Such should also avoid opinion-based/"list question" issues (I think).

I would like this question to be rescued because answers could present how even food may introduce unexpected concerns in space travel. (Perhaps any such risks that food might present are evaluated as minor compared to physiological and psychological considerations given reasonable precautions in cleanliness. That would also be an answer worth reading.)


I agree with Paul; this is definitely on-topic, and definitely too broad. You could write a whole book about it. OTOH, Paul's suggestion is very neat: First create a "parent question" that lists most essential risks, and then tackle each and every of them as multiple separate questions addressing separate concerns.

And answering the question... well, I don't know if it's the most dangerous, but I'd say Fugu fish prepared by an amateur would be more dangerous than chips. Space station optional.


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