When it comes down to it, we humans have two major concerns when venturing away from home for an extended period of time: what we’ll eat, and where we will sleep. Depending on the mode of travel, you might take some snacks along, or else rely on restaurants and/or the pantry of your possible hosts. Until the day we can reliably grow many types of food in space, or that Milliways, that five-star eatery at the end of the universe is operational, astronauts and other space-bound travelers will have to bring most of their food with them.
Cubes and Tubes
Space food has its roots in military rations, which in the United States were devised during the Revolutionary War. Both the variety and delivery methods of food have changed significantly since the beginning of the space program. While the menu may have at first been limited to tubes of nutrient-rich goo, bite-sized cubes and freeze-dried powdered beverages, the fare is more far-out these days. Astronauts on the ISS even enjoy tortillas, fresh fruits, and vegetables thanks to resupply missions, though they have to eat some of these types of foods quickly.
The average astronaut has also changed quite a bit, too. At first, they were all young and super-fit ex-military men, but nowadays they are more likely to be middle-aged science-y types and women. All three of these groups have different nutritional needs when faced with the rigors of living and working in space.