My first GOLDEN FLEECE AWARD goes to the Kraft Heinz Company for the development of a special “Ketchup” designed for production, and presumably consumption, on the Planet Mars.

     The experiment, which has been two years in the making, involved a team of 14 astrobiologists working for nine months at the Aldrin Space Institute at the Florida Institute of Technology, growing tomatoes in a controlled environment with soil, temperature and water conditions similar to Mars.

     “We’re so excited that our team of experts have been able to grow tomatoes in conditions found on another planet and share our creation with the world,” Cristina Kenz of Kraft Heinz said in a statement. “From analyzing the soil from Martian conditions two years ago to harvesting now, it’s been a journey that’s proved wherever we end up, Heinz Tomato Ketchup will still be enjoyed for generations to come.”

     “Achieving a crop that is of a quality to become Heinz Tomato Ketchup was the dream result and we achieved it,” said Andrew Palmer, the head of the Aldrin Space Institute project team. “Working with the ‘Tomato Masters’ at Heinz has allowed us to see what the possibilities are for long-term food production beyond Earth.”

     One might question Heinz’ food production priorities for human survival on a distant planet!!!!!! Hence the Award.

In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Sen. William Proxmire founded his Golden Fleece Awards. Senator Proxmire hadn’t been in Washington long before he observed a great deal of wasteful, and often nonsensical, government spending. So, the Democrat from Wisconsin decided to highlight the frivolity/stupidity of these actions by issuing “Golden Fleece” awards every month from 1975 to 1988. He issued 168 awards altogether, and used the term “fleece” as a play on words. The Washington Post described the awards as “the most successful public relations device in politics today.”

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