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Food is the basic source of nutrition to both humans and animals. Lack of it leads to hunger which can be tracked by a pawn's food meter known as saturation and a long excessive deprivation leads to starvation.
Food found in its natural stage is raw, fruits can be consumed without cooking but vegetables and meat will taste better for the colonist when prepared. Raws can still be consumed without being heated but causes the Ate raw food thought with a -7 mood penalty. Eating raw food restores 0.05 saturation each. Foods cooked at an electric stove, fueled stove or campfire turn into meals, later on it can be processed at the nutrient paste dispenser as well.
Raw food can be obtained from a variety of sources:
- Wild bushes can be harvested to give agave and berries.
- Growing zones can be used to plant rice, potatoes, corn, strawberries and haygrass (for domesticated animals).
- Hydroponics basins can also be used to plant rice, potatoes or strawberries, and grows them at a considerably increased rate.
- Meat is obtained from non-mechanoid corpses, whether hunted or if they died via other means. Corpses may be eaten raw or butchered at a butcher table.
- Occasional drops from cargo pods.
Food will be wasted if left unattended (except for beer) by two factors: exposure and high temperature.
- Items dropped in an area without a roof will deteriorate.
- Storage in temperature above 0°C will spoil over time as well, though temperatures below 10°C will slow down spoiling by a factor of 1 divided by the temperature in C. See Temperature for details. A freezer room can be created by placing enough Coolers in proportion to its size, the bigger the storage the more coolers required. In the early game, this can pose a threat if located on warm biomes.
Note that freezing temperatures alone does not prevent deterioration of food. For example: a raider is killed and drops a fine meal outdoors when the temperature is below freezing. That meal will still deteriorate and eventually disappear when its HP reaches 0, even though it will get no closer to spoiling.
Once spoiled, food will vanish and can never be recovered. However, food can be eaten at any stage before spoiling with no negative effect.
|Food deterioration rates|
|Food item||Deterioration rate (per day)||Days to Rot|
|Packaged survival meal||0.25||-|
|Nutrient paste meal||10||0.75|