Hansie Smit
Hansie Smit

Astronaut slams ‘Banting in space’

SPACE (Field Reporter) US astronaut Scott Kelly is not happy with the red romaine lettuce served on board the International Space Station. Speaking from space, a clearly emotional Kelly declared the dish “an insult to anyone who’s ever worn a space suit”.

“I didn’t come to space to lose weight,” he said.

Kelly (43) said he looked forward going to work to escape the “Banting lifestyle” – a new fad – adopted by his wife back on Earth. According to the veteran astronaut, travelling in orbit is in itself a lifestyle choice and something he’d like to stick by.

L-R: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Kimiya Yui, with Nasa astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Scott Kelly eat red romaine lettuce grown on board the International Space Station. (AFP  / Handout / Nasa TV)

L-R: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Kimiya Yui and Nasa astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Scott Kelly eat red romaine lettuce grown on board the International Space Station. (AFP / Handout / Nasa TV)

“For three months a year I get to float around and eat junk,” said the pudgy American. “It’s heaven. Why spoil that?”

Recommended as part of the Banting lifestyle, the space-grown lettuce seemed to be upsetting palates across the board. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Kimiya Yui said the leaves were “even harder” to keep down than regular space food.

“Stuffing yourself with lettuce is a challenge,” he said while pulling what seemed to be a face.

“But we’re here to do a job and if that means boldly doing what no man has done before then, damnit, so be it.”

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