Questions tagged [food]

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

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70
votes
11answers
57k 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? ...
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, ...
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. ...
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 ...
14
votes
11answers
2k views

Post-apocalypse currency

It is a post apocalyptic world, all government systems have broken down, approx 95% of the worlds population is gone and the few survivors left are beginning to trade with each other. I need a ...
32
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? ...
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 ...
15
votes
8answers
768 views

The earth is flung into deep space

I've been reading the book Nomad, and in it That's got me thinking, is there any chance of survival beyond a few days/weeks when the atmosphere freezes? (Would it freeze?) Just off the top of my ...
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? ...
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 (...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

How large would a space ship need to be to feed 10,000 people?

I want to put 10,000 humans in a space ship and send them into space. They don't have a set destination - they're having to flee their homeworld, and they don't know what planet will take them in, so ...
10
votes
4answers
504 views

Best Foods/Plants to Grow in Generational Spaceship?

Hopefully this isn't a duplicate; I wasn't able to find another question which addressed this, at any rate. Let's say I have a generational spaceship going off to another solar system to establish a ...
14
votes
8answers
2k views

Cannibalism - does eating other sentient creatures make you a cannibal?

So I am now writing my novel regarding a man sent on a long term mission in a backward world by his employer. In the middle of war he ran out of provisions behind enemy lines with no edible flora or ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Can anything survive by eating rocks and other ground minerals?

Are there bacteria or other types of lifeforms that feed on rocks and other ground minerals? And if there aren't, is it technically possible? It can eat other things but the majority of its diet ...
67
votes
15answers
11k 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 ...
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 ...
14
votes
7answers
1k views

What would a society of carnivores be like?

Suppose a species of carnivores had evolved to the point of human-like sapience. How different would their society be in comparison to human society, in terms of agriculture (if any), food production,...
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

If the Moon was made of cheese, what should we do with it? [closed]

The Moon is made of cheese. So: Should we eat the whole moon or should we keep it until the famine breaks out? Will the moon melt or freeze or neither? Can you still eat the cheese after a while or ...
15
votes
32answers
16k views

How to secretly harvest/farm human beings as a primary food supply?

A group of individuals from a technologically advanced alien race have been found to be intellectual dissidents by their peers and exiled to Earth as a consequence. Earth was selected as the location ...
8
votes
2answers
338 views

Smallest set of plants to feed a population

What is the smallest set of different crops a (vegan) human population could grow to sustain itself? We'll assume they have an ideal environment, where anything and everything can grow and the ...
4
votes
5answers
667 views

Food economy of pre-civilization carnivorous humanoids

Imagine a race of humanoids who only eat meat, and are unable to digest vegetables. Is it possible for these humanoid to be able too create/gather enough food(meat) to the point that job ...
7
votes
2answers
192 views

How to tell what can I use in space bistro? [duplicate]

Imagine that humanity made a mining colony at some planet. This planet has its own biosphere. One of the retired workers decides not to go back to Earth, but instead wants to open up a bistro, so ...
4
votes
4answers
366 views

Nomadic Tribe of Herders - Source of Carbs/Other Nutrients?

Where would a tribe of nomadic herders obtain their daily carbohydrates and other necessary nutrients? Naturally they have access to protein and fat through their livestock, but what about the other ...
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 ...
18
votes
2answers
860 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?
13
votes
7answers
2k views

What would be the development of the most valuable, irreplaceable food trade goods in a post-apocalyptic world?

So imagine any typical post-apocalyptic world, recently cast into their misfortune. A very large percentage of humanity has been killed, leaving a very large stock of property to be looted. I suspect ...
17
votes
9answers
2k views

How might Plants produce flames?

We all know of plants that draw in animals with sweet nectar or even just sit around hoping an insect will sit on it and get caught, but I'm imagining a forest dimly lit by the flickering flames of a ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Pros and Cons of Alternative Food Chain Bases

The vast, vast majority of food chains of earth use photosynthesis as a base for the food chain. But theoretically we as a community have talked about other ideas such as; Radiosynthesis (based on ...
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, ...
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. ...
11
votes
7answers
3k views

Blood-based alcohol for vampires?

So a setting I had in mind has vampires, of the rather traditional kind. They aren't as inhumanly strong or fast, but in turn they aren't instantly incinerated by sunlight, instead just being really ...
25
votes
9answers
4k 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 ...
20
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 ...
17
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
16
votes
6answers
4k views

Is it possible to synthesize a nutritional food source completely from inorganic materials?

I have a work-in-progress scenario where an interstellar generation/ark/cryogenic ship has reached its destination, but there are no habitable planets. There's no turning back, and so now the ...
14
votes
9answers
5k views

Pills instead of meals?

Let's say scientists created a pill, that would satisfy our daily nutritional needs. It would have all vitamins needed, all calories, minerals - everything that a human body needs in order to function ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What would be the major changes to our body if we were herbivores?

What would be the major changes to our bodies if we were herbivores? Would our bodies be weaker because they were not getting any protein from meat? Would we be completely different? (Probably, I ...
10
votes
7answers
6k views

Can humans survive just by eating hairs and nails?

Can humans survive by eating only nails and hairs of their own? As they grow they consume their own hair and nails. Hair includes even body hair. What is the maximum number days a human can survive ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Making food last for a large group

In my world of the zombie apocalypse, the zombies are slightly easier to kill, meaning that if a group keeps calm and stays strong, they can last as long as the food does. But this means I have to ...
6
votes
2answers
373 views

how would the carnivorous grassland work?

This question How often must carnivorous grassland eat? was really interesting for me to read. However it made me wonder, how would the bone grass scientifically kill? (is there a way to really make ...
6
votes
2answers
405 views

Farming underground

Suppose the surface of earth is -349 Fahrenheit and survivors live deep underground dependent on geo-thermal energy. They do farming in tunnels. They have enough energy (heat, electricity), fresh air (...
3
votes
2answers
384 views

How many farmlands would a city need to be self-sufficient?

The setting is in a fantasy world, in medieval like times. There are big cities, with giant walls around them. The cities are connected through underground tunnels. Say these cities have farms and ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

How long per day does it take to forage/hunt for food?

Alice and Bob are lost in the wilderness with no supplies! Luckily, they're trained for this kind of thing; they decide to forage and hunt for food. About how many hours per day will they be spending ...
10
votes
11answers
913 views

What could cause vegetarianism to be outlawed?

In my fictional country, you are not allowed to be a vegetarian. Meat eating is recommended and mandatory. The law prohibiting vegetarianism was created somewhere around 1780-1850. The question is: ...
5
votes
1answer
249 views

Light Emitting Animals - What happens to the food chain? [closed]

In my world, an event has happened, some nuclear fall-out caused every animal to grow a special organ that emits light, but I'm wondering what effect that would have on the Food Chain? The world I'm ...
5
votes
8answers
819 views

How much of a pre-industrial country consumed food can come from importation?

They do not have access to fast and reliable transport options like steam boats, trains and do not use fossil fuel. They can only rely on the power of the winds and water currents for long distance ...
4
votes
4answers
329 views

What average percentage of settlers is required to ensure the supply of food?

In a world similar to the earth, a new colony (let's say 1000 settlers) is installed in a wild environment without any other colonies around them (i. e. no commercial routes). The technology ...
4
votes
1answer
324 views

Can you make arbitrary food out of yeast?

In his Robot Series, Isaac Asimov mentions "yeast substitutes" as a way of creating enough food to feed everybody in the Cities. It's also mentioned in Prelude to Foundation. Here's a few quotes from ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

How can I feed an entire population on corpses?

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war. The world has become a barren wasteland that is inhospitable to the the human race, which has been forced to take residence in hive cities. ...