It is well-known, at least among people who know me well, that I hate vegetables. Vegetables are good for you, but they all taste like dirt to me, or at least they are bitter and unpleasantly chewy and, uh, plant-like. However, I must eat them. I have found that if I roast them in the oven at 400 degrees for about an hour, vegetables get all shriveled up and taste at least acceptable to me. They will still cause my biosystem to produce gaseous carbon compounds. Similarly in the Universe, there is lots of gas and some nebulae are properly roasted by radiation, forming nutritious vegetable material for young stars to consume. Thus it is proven that the carbon cycle continues outside the protected environs of Earth. Seasoning is provided by culinary compounds with heavier elements in them. Bon appetit!
"Reflection and Emission Nebulae" is acrylic on illustration board, 7" x 10", January 1991.