Food production

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The food production chain in RimWorld results in edible food to keep your colony sustained. There are multiple ways to obtain raw ingredients for refined food, and refined food itself.

Farming

The most common way to produce food in RimWorld is to farm it. Vegetarian ingredients are obtained by growing crops, and meat ingredients are obtained by rearing livestock.

Crops

RimWorld has five main crop types: corn, haygrass, potatoes, rice, and strawberries. Each plant in turn has their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages, making them all distinguishable from one another.

Each crop will be roughly summarized here, but each crops' own pages will go into more detail on that particular crop:


Corn

Corn plant.png

Advantages:

  • More health points than any other crop (150 vs 85)
  • Less labor-intensive, particularly for growers
  • Yields a lot of corn per harvest
  • Corn has a long shelf life
  • Grows well in rich soil

Disadvantages:

  • Long time between harvests means that supply is less consistent
  • More risky when it comes to crop loss
  • Can't be sown in hydroponics basins
  • Grows poorly in gravel

Usage:

  • Supplement food supply alongside other more stable food sources.
  • Grow when short on growers or lack enough freezer capacity.

Haygrass

Haygrass.png

Advantages:

  • Hay stacks up to 200, compared to 75 for other raw foods.
  • Exceptionally good nutrition output
  • Hay has a long shelf life if covered by a roof.

Disadvantages:

  • Can't be sown in hydroponics basins
  • Hay is only indirectly edible by humans by making it into kibble. Even then, they won't like it.

Usage:

  • Supplement food for grazing animals when pastures are depleted.
  • Make kibble along with unwanted meats like insect or human meats.

Potatoes

Potato plant.png

Advantages:

  • Grows well in gravel

Disadvantages:

  • Potatoes have a slightly shorter shelf life
  • Grows poorly in rich soil and hydroponics

Usage:

  • Grow in areas lacking fertile soil such as deserts.

Rice

Rice plant.png

Advantages:

  • Grows quickly, so food supply is consistent
  • Grows well in rich soil and hydroponics

Disadvantages:

  • Grows poorly in gravel
  • Yields little rice per harvest
  • Very labor-intensive

Usage:

  • Start off your food production by growing this first.
  • Grow in hydroponics basins for rapid production.

Strawberries

Strawberry plant.png

Advantages:

  • Berries don't give any negative thoughts when eaten raw

Disadvantages:

  • Inferior nutrition output compared to other crops
  • Berries have a short shelf life

Usage:

  • Provide food for caravans taking medium-length trips.
  • Grow when short on cooks.

Animal products

Though plant-based foods can sustain your colonists, you will usually need animal products if you're going to make better meals for your colonists.

There are two kinds of food products that can be yielded from animals: milk and meat.


Meat

MeatBig cropped.png

Meat is butchered from any freshly killed animal. The amount of meat obtained is dependent on each animal, and the butchery efficiency of the cook. In general, better cooks can make more out of each dead animal.


Milk

Milk.png

Milk can be obtained from some female tamed animals. It requires handlers to milk them occasionally.

Livestock rearing

Rearing livestock is a good choice for constantly providing these animal products for use. Milk in particular can only be obtained by milking livestock, outside of trading.

There are two factors you will want to consider for livestock (solely for food production): nutrition efficiency and production rate.

Nutrition efficiency

This refers to how effectively the animal converts nutrition consumed to nutrition produced (either by milking or butchering). The grass on the map contains plenty of nutrition which in inaccessible to colonists, and requires you convert them to meat or milk before being consumable by colonists.

For meat:

  • Megaspiders have the highest efficiency of all animals with 0.716 nutrition generated per unit input. However, colonists don't like insect meat, and megaspiders can't be farmed.
  • Foxes have the highest efficiency for regular meat with 0.561. They need to eat meat, thus there is significantly less food available.
  • Pigs or wild boars have the highest efficiency for herbivores with 0.246.

Production rate

This is pretty straightforward. It is affected by the reproduction and growth rate of meat-producing animals.

Other methods

Foraging

Early-game, you're not going to be able to set up a farm straight away; foraging is your best bet for keeping your colony sustained at this point. Forage for berries and agave, and hunt wild animals.

You can also scavenge kills from predators, if they left anything behind, but be careful not to end up as prey yourself.

Biomes

Different biomes have different foods available to foraging.

  • Temperate forests are good in terms of food; you will have a good number of animals to hunt and berries to forage.
  • Boreal forests have troves of raspberries waiting to be harvested and a decent number of animals during summer. Things get tougher during winter when animals leave and plants freeze over, making them inedible (though that doesn't stop you from harvesting berries).
  • Arid shrublands have large numbers of agave plants growing, providing lots of food (though agave fruit doesn't taste good raw), and large animals that yield lots of meat.
  • There's little to eat in a desert and even less in an extreme desert. Foraging is not a good choice there.
  • Ice sheets yield little food, with a lot of land being unable to grow plants. Hunting is usually the only choice and there's little to hunt.
  • There's nothing to see on sea ice.

If you're lucky a herd of migrating animals will pass by, regardless of biome, providing valuable food especially in food deficient areas.

Hunting

Between growing enough food to be self-sufficient and taming enough animals to set up a sustainable meat/milk farm, you will most likely have to resort to hunting for meats and leather.

Trade

Trading gives lots of food instantly without much work from your colonists, but is more expensive marketwise than growing your own food.

For colonies growing lots of food crops, trade can help obtain animal products such as meat in bulk for cooking quality meals in exchange for crop produce which is often in excess.

Processing food

Eating raw food isn't really favorable to your colonists, usually netting them a -7 mood penalty. Besides, cooking food makes it easier to digest, allowing colonists and animals to obtain more nutrition from them.

Raw food can be made into several varieties of cooked meals or processed foods.

Simple meal

As its name goes, it is a simple meal made with any ingredients.

It provides 0.9 nutrition from 0.5 worth of ingredients, giving 180% efficiency.

Fine meal

Same as a simple meal with a mood buff. Its requires .25 animal meat , 0.25 vegetable/dairy ingredients and level 8 cooking skill to make.

Providing 0.9 at an efficiency of 180%. It provides colonists with a +5 mood buff.

Lavish meal

The best tier of meal available, it provides a significant mood bonus at a cost.

It provides 1 nutrition from 1 worth of ingredients at 100% efficiency, making it less efficient than preparing other meals, so this should be done if you have excess materials.

Nutrient paste meal

An extremely efficient way to make meals out of any raw ingredients.

It provides 0.9 nutrition out of only 0.3 worth of ingredients, giving a massive 300% efficiency rating, but colonists generally dislike eating nutrient paste, so leave nutrient paste for food shortages.

Pemmican

A mixture of animal and plant ingredients makes this long-lasting food.

It provides 0.8 nutrition from 0.5 worth of ingredients for a lackluster 160% efficiency. Its advantage lies in its long shelf life allowing it to be stored for long periods without using freezers, making it perfect for tribal starts or caravans.

Packaged survival meal

A packaged and sealed meal that never goes bad.

It provides only 0.9 nutrition from 1 worth of ingredients, making it the least efficient with only 90%; nutritionwise it is even more efficient to directly eat the raw ingredients.

While it gives a mood boost similar to that of fine meals, its poor efficiency makes it only suited for caravans going extremely long distances beyond the shelf life of pemmican.

To-Do List)

  • Detail some of the best options for livestock to rear
  • Consider biomes for food foraging
  • Risks of hunting
  • Advantages and disadvantages of each means of production
  • Insect farming and cannibalism

To ensure that no information added is outdated, data could be extracted from the following spreadsheets:
Animals[1]
Plants[2]