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In an alternate version of our world, lycanthropes and vampires were introduced about 300 years ago and are coexisting with us. Unfortunately, they had to adapt to our cuisine and avoid certain ingredients altogether.

  • Vampires don't have much trouble eating meat, especially rare, and even fruit and vegetables to some extent. However, they react badly to vegetables similar to garlic, large amounts of salt, or edible wood-like substances such as cinnamon. They also need occasional human blood but that can be produced synthetically. Dishes such as black pudding are popular.

  • Werewolves often have adverse reactions to things wolves (and therefore dogs) find toxic, but are otherwise just more inclined to eat meat.

  • Both react badly to mandrakes and foods containing more than very trace amounts of silver.

What would have to be omitted from a largely British/Northern European diet, such as chocolate, cinnamon and garlic, in order to cater to these individuals?

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    $\begingroup$ In the topic, you are asking what food they can't eat, in your body you are answering that question and then you ask something completely different about "dietary allowances"? Why don't you just take the same as humans have, you do not specify a reason why they would be different? Could you clean up that mess? $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Jan 15 '18 at 11:29
  • $\begingroup$ @Raditz_35 i think he is maybe referring to the approx $ per day in food but you are right he/she should clarify what is the question. $\endgroup$ – Kaotis Jan 15 '18 at 11:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Raditz_36 I'm not aware of which foods would be risky. What foods are high in silver? Other than chocolate, what's Wolfie gonna find poisonous? What kinds of bark are eaten? $\endgroup$ – Piomicron Jan 15 '18 at 13:05
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    $\begingroup$ @Piomicron Please edit your question so it becomes answerable instead of just adding a comment. You should maybe also specify where your story is set geographically since what food people eat depends on their cultural background. From your black pudding comment, I guess the UK or Scandinavia, but blood is eaten in any culture I'm aware of - I don't want to make that assumption on that comment alone and neither should anyone else $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Jan 15 '18 at 13:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Piomicron A quick Google search for what is poisonous to dogs would go a long way toward answering that. Chocolate (actually cocoa) (actually theobromine) isn't the only thing poisonouos to dogs. Wolves and dogs are different, but probably similar enough in this case that dogs are a reasonable approximation of Wolfie. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Jan 15 '18 at 14:01
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The descriptions of foods you mention above sound to me a lot like a Paleo diet. If nuts and seeds don't count as edible wood, then you wouldn't even have to modify the diet much at all; you may need to take out avocados and their oils for the lycanthrope, and (possibly) some of the very green and leafy vegetables with high mineral content (because of the possibility of silver) but most of it should be fine.

For the sake of argument though, let's assume that we can modify the Paleo diet by taking out nuts and seeds, as well as getting rid of spinach and avocado to be sure. We'll call it Occult Paleo.

Black pudding can be eaten under such a diet, excess meat doesn't seem to be a problem and most of the vegetables are going to be fine (sans spinach and avocado). You can't do chocolate under this diet which works for the lycanthropes, although to be sure cocoa should be avoided altogether.

Bottom line is that Paleo is a good starting fit, with a few extra restrictions to cover off the foods that are bad for dogs especially. If nothing else, it's a food program that's already mostly understood by some restaurants and caterers, so modifying it for your vampires and werewolves wouldn't take as much effort as starting from scratch.

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They would need to be forced to learn how to order "steak, blue or rare, no garnish". And how to cook. They don't need to adapt to anything. Just go there and ask for a "burger, hold the garlic".

I'm looking right now at a take-away menu and there is disclaimer "If you have ANY allergy to ANY products used in our menu please let us know. We will prepare your dish in allergen free pots".

I don't know how about your local shop but mine hasn't carried mandrake since 1450. So that is one problem less. But now we can call butcher that will deliver half of ox to your door in 30 minutes. No questions asked. Because why would you want to ask why somebody need half an ox?

The main problem you would need to address is why they need human blood. Main difference in human vs. animal blood is protein pockets. But the proteins are transported in the blood, you don't need to consume it to be able to have your proteins.
And if you answer would be along "because I says so" then you can go and just say that no one needs to change anything. Your vampires and lycanthropes just learn to read ingredients on the back of the chips.

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I sincerely could not think of any food containing silver, so I had to Google it out. Turns out that eating silver is a thing, especially in Southeast Asia:

Vark, also called varak (also silver leaf, German paper), is super fine filigree foil sheet of pure metals, typically silver but sometimes gold, used to decorate South Asian sweets and food to make those look more appetising. The silver and gold are edible, though flavorless. (...) Estimated consumption of Vark is 275 tons (according to BWC-Beauty without cruelty data) annually (c. 2016).

However, it seems that not only werewolves and vampires would be badly affected by it (though regular humans could at least tolerate larger amounts of it):

Concerns have been raised about the ethical acceptability and food safety of Vark, as not all of it is pure silver (sometimes aluminium is used, which is toxic), nor hygienically prepared.


Every responsible dog owner knows that there is one human food that is poisonous to the vast majority of dogs: chocolate. Check this site for the reason, data, and a toxicity calculator. Supposing a werewolf weights at least as much as a human, they should be able to tolerate more chocolate than a dog, but they will still get intoxicated. Maybe the calculator helps you with ideas for how they would feel. The active component of chocolate that harms them is called theobromine, by the way.

Pet owners also know that caffeine is extremely dangerous to dogs, but it should not be so for werewolves. The reason is that the lethal dose of caffeine is about the same for dogs and humans: around 150mg per kilogram (about 2.2 pounds) of body weight. Pets usually suffer caffeine poisoning because they weight so much less than us. However, do notice that when caffeine is metabolized by a human, around 12% of it turns into theobromine (see the link I mentioned before), so I would expect a werewolf to at least suffer a little from a few cups of coffee.

Finally, most dogs hate citrus/citronella. Many dogs don't, though. I believe it's due to their sense of smell being so much more sensitive than ours. I would expect werewolves to avoid it like we humans avoid rotten food.


So, long story short: food products containing theobromine should be labeled so in order to protect werewolves, and both werewolves and vampires should avoid vark.

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    $\begingroup$ Lycanthrope bars where they serve chocolate to get you drunk. "Good evening Mr. Wolf, is that an unwrapped Hershey's bar there?" "No Mishter Truffle, I'm not as think as you drunk I am (hic!)" $\endgroup$ – Wayne Werner Jan 15 '18 at 15:52
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    $\begingroup$ Depending on sensitivity you may want to avoid eating with silver cutlery as well.Be careful getting out the best kitchenware for your lycanthrope guests! $\endgroup$ – Windlepon Jan 15 '18 at 15:54
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A dog/wolf's poisoning due to consuming chocolate is called Theobromine poisoning and is due to more than just chocolate. The linked article lists a few other foods.

Theobromine poisoning, also wrongly called chocolate poisoning, is an overdosage reaction to the xanthine alkaloid theobromine, found in chocolate, tea, cola beverages, açaí berries, and some other foods.

I would recommend you read the article. It's fairly short and has some good discussion about toxicity levels based on the animal's weight, etc. You might have some lyncanthropes in your world that eat chocolate or drink soda in spite of the risks and are only moderately affected based on their level of consumption and regularity. Maybe a parallel to humans drinking alcohol despite the negative short-term and long-term affects.

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to the WorldBuilding stack exchange! Thank you for the good answer. Do you have any advice for vampires also? $\endgroup$ – James McLellan Jan 15 '18 at 17:14
  • $\begingroup$ @JamesMcLellan I don't. Since we are talking about fantastic beasts, you can pretty much do whatever you want and rationalize it in any given world. There is some common "lore" but there are still some stories that break the traditional molds for these type characters. I just took a seemingly "logical" leap that werewolves would have similar characteristics to dogs/wolves and listed those so they could be considered. I couldn't think of any parallels for vampires. $\endgroup$ – JeffC Jan 15 '18 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ Well except for maybe 40-year old males that live in basements and spend their time on computers drinking highly caffeinated sodas and eating microwave dinners.... but that's probably a bit of a stretch... ;) $\endgroup$ – JeffC Jan 15 '18 at 17:27
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Wolfie could eat chocolate.

Chocolate is toxic to dogs because they don't have a developed liver (so they can't process chocolate), in the case of werewolfs, I´ve always thought that the inner-organs structure stays the same therefore there wouldn't be any problem with them eating chocolate.

I think that growing extra hair, long nails, etc... makes sense, but having the liver dissapear or become rudimentary at their transformation it's a little bit dumb.

Unless your werewolfs are like those in Twilight that LITERALLY transform into enlarged wolves I see no problem having a "classic" werewolf eating chocolate.

Sources

I recently watched a video about homemade moonshine repercutions on a human body which touched on how the liver processes certain toxins and makes them non toxic for us, and they gave the example of dogs and chocolate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DQUrg0Yhu4

Also, in many websites that give their approach to lycanthropes biology, they don't mention any kind of transformation realted to the liver. Idk It would be cool to research that, Who knows? maybe you end up debunking the taboo of werewolfs and chocolate.

Side Note

This isn't related to the question but I found it interesting to mention.

If your characters adapted to human society ¿What about substitutes? You know like all of those vegan/vegetarian meat-like food ¿Wouldn't it be good for the enterprises on your universe to create a garlic-flavour for those edgy vampires who love the taste of it or an edible chocolate for werewolfs?

P.S. Sorry for my bad english, I'm not a native speaker.

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    $\begingroup$ Canine livers are as developed as any other mammals'. But different animals process different substances in different ways. Dogs actually have more tolerance to some substances than we do... A dog's daily intake of vitamin A, for example, if adjusted for a human's weight, would kill said human within weeks. Would you say our liver is less developed when compared to theirs, in light of this? $\endgroup$ – Renan Jan 15 '18 at 16:44
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    $\begingroup$ H_Garcia - you are wrong about classic werewolves. Werewolves who LITERALLY transform into wolves are classic werewolves from centuries old stories. Werewolves that turn into furry, manlike creatures with canine features were rare until recently. The first example of a man like werewolf in movies was Werewolf of London, 1935, a mere 83 years ago, for example. $\endgroup$ – M. A. Golding Jan 15 '18 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ @M.A.Golding Thank you for stealing my thunder! I was about to comment the exact same... the myth of the werewolves used to be that some humans that turned into full out wolves at full moon, not some kind of crazy hybrid. $\endgroup$ – Patrice Jan 16 '18 at 3:33

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