Nutrient paste dispenser
Nutrient paste dispenser
Synthesizes nutrient paste from organic feedstocks. It consumes less ingredients and time than any other meal production method - but nobody likes eating nutrient paste. Accepts raw food, but not rough plant matter like hay.
A nutrient paste dispenser is an electrical device that converts raw food placed in an adjacent hopper into nutrient paste meals. Unlike production benches, this process does not require you to add bills. When a colonist is hungry and there are no better alternatives available, they will approach the dispenser and instantaneously generate their paste meal.
The nutrient paste dispenser is helpful, but not necessarily vital for survival. It is the most efficient way to prepare raw food in the game, increasing the nutritional value of its raw inputs by 200%. If you find yourself in a desolate biome where food is scarce, or your existing cooks can't produce meals fast enough to feed your population, nutrient paste dispensers can prove crucial in avoiding starvation.
However, consuming a nutrient paste meal gives your colonist an “Ate awful meal” bad thought, reducing mood by -4. This is still better than the -7 mood "Ate raw food" thought from eating unprepared raw food.
Be aware that converting human or insect meat to a nutrient paste meal does not mask its origins. Doing so results in all appropriate bad thoughts hitting at once.
One hidden property of the dispenser is that it functions as a wall capable of separating rooms, accepting conduits and blocking temperature. This allows you to place hoppers in a refrigerated space to prevent rot, or to point a dispenser into a prison where colonists can safely fill the hopper from outside the prison while the prisoners can feed themselves whenever they want without a warden needing to bring them food, though this prevents colonists from using the dispenser as it is reserved for prisoners. Strangely, the dispenser does not block light.
Large-Scale Paste Production
You can process entire Hopper's worth of ingredients into Nutrient Paste in a single sitting with just one hungry pawn:
After ensuring that there are no food sources better than Nutrient Paste available, find a Pawn whose hunger bar is below the first mark.
- Draft the hungry pawn and march them over to the Dispenser nozzle and pause the game.
- Un-draft them and they will grab a meal.
- Draft them, and they drop the meal on the floor.
- Forbid this meal.
- Un-draft them, and they grab another meal.
- Draft them again, and they drop the meal onto the same forbidden stack. (This is what makes the trick work)
- Un-draft them and they grab a new meal.
- Repeat steps 6 & 7 (hold down R key for rapid toggling) until forbidden stack is full and they start picking up their dropped meal.
- Go to step 1, and repeat until hoppers are empty. Be amazed at the great distance at which meals can be "dropped" by a drafted pawn.
Now you can have as many Nutrient Paste meals as your heart desires! Enough to take with you on cold journeys! Enough to make an emergency food stockpile! Enough to use as animal fodder! Enough to feed into a Chemfuel Reactor! (Call it a feedstock pre-processing step)