Questions tagged [food]

For questions about sources and types of nutrition for a living organism.

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87
votes
13answers
22k views

Lembas bread (2000 Calories per bite)

In the lord of rings the elves invented an incredibly nutritious bread/biscuit, as Legolas clearly says only a small bite is just enough to satisfy the needs of an adult man for 1 day. An adult ...
70
votes
15answers
12k views

Designing an animal that wants to be eaten

So I had a funny idea, somewhat based off the cow in the Restaurant at the End of the Universe in the Hitchhikers Guide. You know the one—that wants to be eaten and whose only purpose in life is to be ...
68
votes
11answers
56k views

How many people can you feed per square-kilometer of farmland?

Questions about how to feed a large population keep popping up on this website quite frequently. One obvious option is farming. But how many people can you feed per square-kilometer of farmland? ...
66
votes
8answers
6k views

How often must carnivorous grassland eat?

Don't go into the bonegrass. Seriously, unless you want to be dead. You go in there, brush the grass with your clothes, start to feel sleepy... Before too long your limbs will go numb, then you're on ...
66
votes
11answers
12k views

The first McDonald's restaurant on Mars

The McDonald's fast food company is the world's largest restaurant chain which prides itself with offering (almost) the same standardized menu all around the globe... ...this globe. When humanity ...
65
votes
15answers
10k views

How to butcher your dragon?

READ ME FIRST: There seems to have been a great deal of misunderstanding stemming to equal parts from the words I chose for this question as well as the human nature of only seeing what one wants to ...
64
votes
22answers
18k views

How to enforce a Ban on Vegetarianism

Let's say that Vegetarianism is banned in my country and meat eating is mandatory. The technology is modern. Stuff like Tofu, Quorn and other things that can make vegetarianism more popular are banned ...
61
votes
13answers
10k views

Safe way to eat zombies?

This answer to Making food last for a large group made me realize that using the zombies as a source of resources is pretty much never covered by genre pieces even when it is essentially a siege ...
55
votes
10answers
7k views

What could cause sugary rain?

In a world very similar to ours, rain has a high concentration of simple carbohydrates in it, enough to sustain life on the surface. After some rainfall, this sugary rainwater is left behind and some ...
52
votes
12answers
10k views

How can Dwarves produce honey underground?

I have often heard/read/watched in fantasy about dwarves drinking mead and lots of it. I recently learned that mead is made from honey which requires bees and flowers which require sunlight. I doubt ...
52
votes
6answers
10k views

Farming after the apocalypse: chickens or giant cockroaches?

So let's say you live in a terrifying post-apocalyptic world. For whatever reason, this world is now infested with cockroaches the size of chickens (similar to radroaches from the Fallout games, but ...
51
votes
11answers
13k views

What does the Minotaur eat?

So: We all know about the Labyrinth and the Minotaur. One is a maze of stone tunnels, and one is a half-man half-bull killing machine. It's reasonable to assume that the Minotaur requires a decent ...
51
votes
4answers
8k views

How do I begin to explain that my orcs may survive by eating soil?

In my RPG campaign setting the orcs are tougher than most other races. In hard times they can eat wood (small bushes and fresh pieces of trees). In really hard times they can eat healthy soil and ...
50
votes
18answers
9k views

How to not starve gigantic beasts

If I create dragons to be castle-sized animals, how am I supposed to let them eat? Won't they need too much for an earth-like planet? I'm currently trying to build a world where a whole lot of ...
49
votes
14answers
10k views

Does a hexagon-based bread loaf make any sense?

Back in the day, during a writing jam, I started wondering it'd be good if a culture in my world would have loafs of bread resembling a hexagon-based tube. Almost like a cylinder, but with six well ...
38
votes
12answers
14k views

What could possibly replace beer?

What is the malted liquor, what makes you drunker quicker what comes in bottles or in cans? BEER! In addition to being delicious, beer is ubiquitous. There is evidence of beer ...
37
votes
24answers
11k views

How would a society isolated by monster attacks get food?

So I've got a medieval fantasy world where humanity has been forced to live exclusively in fortified towns and city states because of attacks by monsters. These monsters are not kaiju level in size so ...
35
votes
10answers
6k views

How long can an adult survive on pure carbs?

In reference to the classic Indestructible Edible Trope, how long can an adult subsist on largely junk food? I realize that "largely" is vague, so feel free to clarify as desired to give a helpful ...
35
votes
11answers
7k views

Would humans be able to derive nutrition from foodstuffs found on alien planets?

Suppose humans have developed the technology to travel between star systems. This might be some science-fiction method like warp drive, jump drive, peanut butter drive, hyperspace drive or whatever, ...
34
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the approximate caloric intake of a dragon?

Dragons. We know them. We love them. They breathe fire and wreck our towns and plunder our gold. But all that destruction has to get fueled somehow. So naturally, I would assume dragons have to eat (...
34
votes
6answers
5k views

What's the smallest patch of land a single person could be food-sufficient on indefinitely, in a temperate climate?

One person lives alone with access to a small patch of useful land. They have to grow all their own food and survive indefinitely. This small patch of fertile soil is the only useful land. No grazing,...
33
votes
8answers
5k views

What would poverty be like if there was an infinite supply of food?

Taking into account a medieval-ish lifestyle, one of the most important things, I would imagine, correct me if I am wrong, is food. If you could eat food, you were probably also not poor. Now, ...
32
votes
29answers
10k views

Why do the aliens buy Earth whiskey instead of just downloading the copy and creating it themselves?

This takes place far in the future. The emperor of the star empire has a lot of things to deal with, that stress him out. The treaty with Xcarus is down the toilet, the High General has just purged a ...
31
votes
21answers
7k views

How could a species survive on just luring in and eating humans?

In a question about mermaids, it was proposed that they might have evolved to look like humans to lure them in and prey on them. How could a creature survive on a diet of nothing but lured-in humans? ...
30
votes
14answers
6k views

If future farming is largely automated by robots, what produce would still require human farmers?

In a story set in the near future where robots perform the majority of farming (due to population growth and agribusiness efficiencies), what might still be farmed by humans? Assume no radical AI ...
30
votes
3answers
3k views

What efficiencies make a realistic food chain?

I'm trying to design a food chain. For the sake of argument lets say it's based on flying creatures over a particular mountain range. ...
30
votes
5answers
4k views

Dietary Requirements of Giant Spiders

Giant Spiders are a traditional element of fantasy worlds. They prey upon most human's primal fears, and are easy to make as evil as possible. (Note: Not to scale) But are they actually plausible? ...
28
votes
9answers
6k views

In the year 2999, there are pills instead of food. What do commercials look like?

Year 2998. December 20. One thousand years ago, there was a big change in the world, called Euro, and most Europeans had a radical change in their daily lives (in year 2851, all the world agreed on ...
27
votes
5answers
6k views

If a civilization could plant only three crops, which ones would cover all nutritional needs?

For example, beans and rice cooperate to make a "complete" protein, providing all of the amino acids the body can't synthesize on its own -- in fact, most traditional dishes that combine legumes and ...
24
votes
10answers
12k views

Could human civilization live 150 years in a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier colony without resorting to mass killing/ cannibalism?

An un-treatable virus starts infecting and killing people. Societies are on the brink of collapse, and it is decided the best way to save the most amount of people is to move everyone who can fit into ...
23
votes
8answers
5k views

Making cooking require split-second timing

Consider a world in which cooking food is complicated by the need to employ split-second timing to prepare it correctly (for example, to prevent it from being overcooked or undercooked). This would ...
23
votes
14answers
5k views

Could an autotrophic civilisation develop, or will evolving life forms always eat each other?

I can imagine our own civilisation becoming autotrophic eventually, if biological life gives way to a population of machines that need only sunlight. However, the history of that situation still ...
23
votes
6answers
5k views

Would “lab meat” be able to feed a much larger global population

I read a prediction that if the global fertility rate stayed at the same rate as it was in 1995 by 2150 the population would be 256 billion people. That sounds crazy, but for my sci-fi I'm rolling ...
23
votes
3answers
3k views

Diet for nomadic people climbing a metal structure?

I'm searching for a source of nutrients for a nomadic tribe that climbs a seemingly endless metal tower. They have been climbing for generations and are too high up to see any ground below. The ...
22
votes
12answers
10k views

Can a creature sustain itself by eating its own severed body parts?

I was inspired by geckos which can sever their own tails. I wonder if a creature which has such an ability, especially with a high regenerative power to grow its body parts, can sustain itself over ...
22
votes
3answers
4k views

What sort of beak would a bone marrow eating bird have?

My world is very earthlike and I am looking to create a bird that primarily eats bone marrow. I wanted my bird to crack the bones of the carcasses to eat the marrow inside. What would the ideal beak ...
22
votes
9answers
3k views

How to check what is edible on an alien world? [duplicate]

You've landed on another planet. There are some forms of plants and animals on this world but how do you know what is safe to eat? Obviously we went through this on earth, finding the right berries ...
22
votes
8answers
5k views

What giant insects would fill the role of our domesticated cattle?

All our mammalian friends are replaced by domesticated giant insects! Man's best friend are now dog-sized hissing cockroaches, fireflies are lightening our houses and harvestmen are used for transport....
22
votes
6answers
2k views

Maggots at a party… How would alien races dine together?

Communal dining of some form is a custom amongst virtually every human society. Whether inviting friends around for a meal or going on a date together social eating is a common way of tying ...
21
votes
4answers
5k views

Would a carnivorous diet be able to support a giant worm?

In my fantasy world there is a large valley. At the northern end lies the 'endless desert' called the "Sea of Glass" due to its shimmering sands. Within these deserts live great wyrms that swim ...
21
votes
5answers
5k views

Polar cannibalism menu choice: fit or fat?

I have a community in a freezing polar region who occasionally resort to cannibalism to survive. This only occurs when all other food reserves are exhausted due to story based logic. Each year/few ...
20
votes
11answers
5k views

How would a secret society/corporation get food to underground bases?

In my story there are two largely unknown secret corporations (on Earth; present day) which are at war. They are quite technologically advanced, although all of their inventions are somewhat feasible. ...
20
votes
15answers
6k views

What kind of food would be common in a culture that tries to avoid fire as much as possible?

The people of A. are a race of small, lemur-like people that build their villages deep in the forest on treetops. Since they live directly surrounded by forest in a vaguely Mediterranean Climate with ...
20
votes
3answers
13k views

What would prey actually die from after being being swallowed whole by my fictional carnivorous species? [closed]

Being eaten is obviously not a process most organisms can survive. But assuming one is swallowed whole, and isn't injured before reaching the stomach, what actually ends up killing them? Acid? Heat? ...
19
votes
7answers
7k views

How large would a mega structure have to be to host 1 billion people indefinitely?

Ruins of buildings, abandoned cities and suburbs dot the coasts of Earth's landmasses, inhabited by wild animals and the pieces of a once vibrant civilization. The oceans are relatively empty, the ...
19
votes
10answers
4k views

How to keep a ship's crew healthy in a fantasy renaissance setting?

So, in the age of sail, there where hundreds of dangers lurking in ships, mostly in the form of sickness such as scurvy, and I'm looking for a way to have sailors in a similar technology level as ...
18
votes
2answers
846 views

Food sources for an undergound city

Lets assume a city exists underground, either in natural caves or synthetic tunnels. Are there any food sources underground, and what kind of population can they support?
17
votes
8answers
3k views

Convenient teeth for a bloodsucking vampire

So I got this species of vampire-creatures (no conversion of other species, just mating and reproducing in typical mammalian fashion) that subsist entirely on blood. I'm using a bit of magic to imply ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Would carbon-based lifeforms be able to eat silicon-based lifeforms?

In the South Galaxy, the overwhelming majority of life lives on planets, breathes air, and is carbon-based. All sentient life is carbon-based. However, in the vast reaches of space, there are some ...
17
votes
5answers
3k views

A 'vampire' who still eats normal food

The hero of my story has been cursed to be forever 'bloodthirsty' in the literal sense of the word. Effectively, he has been turned into a vampire. But drinking blood will cause him to lose his senses,...