Eclipse Phase | AUSTIN, TEXAS | 2015-2019 A.D.
Food and Drink
Food and Drink
For most of the population in the Solar System, meals are taken in a common area. This practice saves resources in a number of areas – space, energy and waste. The meals available are highly nutritious and well balanced, so that even those performing a minimum level of daily activity will remain relatively healthy. The reason for such nutritious food is the nature of that food: everything is made with specially produced and processed ingredients to optimize the health benefits. Typical meals are pre-prepared and packaged with a variety of choices. Most of the meal’s protein comes from high-density aquaculture and soy, and other ingredients are provided from high-yield, high-density crops of grains and rice. Specialty crops of fruits and vegetables are grown with hydroponics or private gardens (see below). All of these are combined to provide quick, nutritional food for the most people with the minimum required resources.
Cafeterias and mess halls are normally located on the ground floor of a living quarters complex, and serve only processed foods. Since there are normally people working or doing business at all hours, the facility does not have the room to seat everyone, and those that arrive early are expected to finish their meals by the time the late arrivals need a place to sit down. Business complexes have a cafeteria to serve lunches and other meals. People have the choice to purchase meals either as singles or part of a meal plan. Meal plans provide a limited choice of menu, but offer a 10% discount over purchasing single meals. Naturally produced and prepared foods are only available in restaurants, and are considered a treat by most. Atypical restaurant meal will cost double the pre-packaged equivalent, but there is a wider variety of specialty foods like beef, large crustaceans and fish. Vegetables and fruits are prepared in a traditional manner that is firmly geared toward creating something that tastes different from the normal packaged equivalents. The skill of the preparation varies widely, however, and many say that good chefs are most abundant on Venus and Mars.
Microgravity makes eating an entirely different experience. Food that gets loose in microgravity makes a large mess that can escape in any direction. Those people with plenty of microgravity experience can get away with eating from open containers, but the traditional squeeze bulbs and dry foods of the early Space Age are still available for the rest. Since most ships have some way of producing at least minimal gravity for the long voyages they undertake, microgravity foods are normally reserved for when acceleration is not available, or when there is an emergency situation. While everyone seems to enjoy complaining about the quality of these foods, no one seems to complain too loudly when they are truly hungry.
Most people who live in an artificial environment would agree that garden grown vegetables are the best-tasting of foods The roofs of many colony cylinder buildings are flat and are covered in soil or hydroponics gardens. Except for the smallest buildings. employees or residents usually spend time tending these gardens for a portion of the harvest. Underground settlements on the Moon and Mercury use potted plants – again, fruits and vegetables -to brighten the surroundings If the plant is located in a public area, it IS considered extremely rude to take a sample unless first offered a taste by the owner or caretaker.