Acorns, the Super Food

Acorns (and nuts in general) seem to be incredibly prolific and caloric foods.

You do all this work during the spring to scavenge eggs and veggies, barely scraping by, then you hit summer and you get a bunch of fruit, but have to put in days of labor to preserve it for any more than a few days…

Then fall hits and in a matter of seconds you are literally buried in more nuts than you can fit in a cargo truck, that will last for years without any kind of preservation, and each tiny handful is providing a 400kC meal. It’s waaaay over the top.

Acorns seem to be the most absurd in sheer quantity and caloric value, but all the nuts are kind of crazy - their harvest values seem to be at least 10x too high for the minimal effort required.

Not kidding about the cargo truck btw. I was overloading myself badly clearing less than a single overland tile. Had I bothered to keep going I would have choked my deathmobile with more nuts than I could eat in their multi-years-long spoilage time.


So the thing is that a fully mature oak tree can produce a thousand pounds of acorns in a single growing season. That’s one tree. Typically acorns outproduce every other nut bearing tree put together in regions they live in. It’s part of their reproductive strategy. They make more food than the local wildlife could possibly eat.

A single ounce of acorn is 110 calories which makes a pound of acorns 1,760 calories, which you’ll note is basically enough for a person to survive on. More than a few Native American cultures made prolific use of acorn meal as a foodstuff and its importance is actually noted in the journals of Lewis and Clark, as well as their preparation.

Most people of European descent simply find them unpalatable, but nothing is really wrong with them if they’re leeched of the tannic acids. In reality they’re really only good for fats and carbs with some protein content, but they lack critical vitamin content that would make it impossible to subsist on them entirely.

So play with vitamin needs on I guess. The reality of North America is that the acorn is the unsung hero of an often overlooked history on this part of the continent.


If they’re really going to be that strong on the food scale I guess you could balance them by making their preparation time more obnoxious and applying at least a mild penalty to morale recipes consisting mostly of acorns? Because blech.

Their current prep time is not that long and the batches are fairly large and very calorie loaded, so they end up functionally being the food to end all foods.

It seems that the importnt info in Trigon message is that thhey are calorie reach but vitamin poor, if you subsist only on them you’re going to die with your belly full and bleeding gums. So balance probably needs to come from the vitamin needs side of the game.


Multi-vitamins can also be found by the crate-full and they have basically no inventory vol/weight, so vitamin deficiency isn’t really a thing unless you aren’t paying attention.

Then it’s either a fault of the vitamin system or of the spawn of multi vitamin, not from the acorn.
I tried to ask biologist friends if you could subsist on carbs and multi vitamin only IRL but no one had a clear answer on that.

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Yes, Fris0uman essentially hit my point. In the long run vitamin deficiency will get you, because unlike meat, the other main source of proteins and fats, most nuts don’t contain iron or vitamin B12. So it’s a slow death from nutrient deficiency any way you slice it since acorns have virtually none of the most important vitamins humans need.

The point that you can get around this problem via multivitamins doesn’t really go against it since they’re a consumable resource you can’t make by yourself. That’s a playstyle consideration and should actually be supported. Nomadic players subsisting on acorns and raiding towns for multivitamins feels like an excellent example of emergent gameplay and the PC is still walking the line of getting scurvy, calcium, and iron deficiency, should their supply of finite multivitamins run out through sheer bad luck.

As for the prep time acorn preparation largely consists of boiling two pots of water and transferring it between them, plus the time to hull and chop them. In game, one handful of acorns takes 24 minutes to prepare and a handful of acorns is listed at .07 pounds, or 1.12 oz. that means it takes nearly a half hour to prepare one ounce of acorns and you’re using a half a liter of water to do it. Making it take more time would quickly push it to even more ridiculous levels.

EDIT: Fris0man, to answer your question, in reality you technically can get all your vitamin needs from multivitamins, but the big three (carbs, protein, and fat) need to come from food. And you generally need at least two in sufficient amount to not suffer serious health issues. Look up “Rabbit Starvation” to understand the effects of having only protein without enough carbs or fats.

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Yeah, no, I get the whole ‘real nutrition’ thing. Not my point.

What I’m seeing is a single tree in a game that trivially negates about 400 other items and an entire crafting system. Not looking for an explanation of why you think it should do that, I’m looking for an explanation of how it’s going to be fixed without implementing a complete working model of the human digestive system. :sweat_smile:

I think in the meantime I’ll just mod them to not break the game.

Or just don’t use them?

Nah, I’m fine with acorns - I just don’t want trees that generate metric tons of them that convert into unlimited long-shelf life food with no effort spent.

It not really different then having a freezer full of cracklings or tallow etc, the system isn’t balanced around simplified nutrition, just use them to make flour or something.

Qualitatively, yeah, it’s a lot different. Most of the other foodstuffs you can get in bulk require a substantial amount of effort to collect and preserve. Granted, you certainly CAN put in quite large stores of them, but it generally takes several days per (30 day) season.

Acorns? Not so much. One afternoon of picking, no storage processing required, no refrigeration required - food for the next two game years.

It doesn’t really invalidate the other systems though. Spending over 20 minutes for every hundred some odd calories you prepare isn’t very time efficient. Whereas I could shoot a moose and smoke months of food while I go do other stuff at a much greater time efficiency. Plus I’ll get vitamins from the meat as well and if I’m hungry now I can cook up a chunk easily in 3 minutes.

Plus there’s still the 180 days before fall comes where you don’t have acorns in any considerable amount. You need other preservation methods if you want nonperishables between spring and fall.

The questions are :
_What is the shelf life of acorn IRL ?
_How much acorn can you get from trees when you are the only one collecting them ?

_If you were not the only one collecting them (i.e competition from other animals including humans) , would that make a significant difference on the amount available ?

Ok, see, now I can see a huge part of the problem. Not only are acorns shockingly plentiful, the Cooked Acorn Meal recipe increases their caloric value by a factor of 8x, providing vastly more calories per preparation time than almost any other food.

Here’s the production chain, clipped for brevity:

“name”: “handful of acorns”,
“spoils_in”: “240 days”,
“calories”: 114


“type”: “recipe”,
“result”: “acorns_cooked”,
“time”: 24000,
“components”: [ [ [ “acorns”, 1 ] ], [ [ “water”, 2 ]


“name”: “cooked acorn meal”,
“calories”: 456, <–_
“charges”: 2, <----- WTF

However, I don’t want to give you the impression that it is just this one bug. Overall my impression is that nuts across the board provide a very high caloric value compared to other foods with a shorter shelf life, harder gathering, and longer prep times. I suspect that the stats for the nuts may have been provided by the American Council for Nut Farmers. :smirk:

Nuts tend to have a pretty decent calories, peanuts have something like 6 calories per 1g, so 600 calories for 100g.

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Yeah nuts are a very calorie dense food. Though I don’t think chopping and boiling them should octuple the caloric value. That is slightly off.

I think ideally the handful of acorns should be made larger so it’s more in line with the resulting amount of calories you get, since 800+ calories an ounce is pretty crazy.

From what I’m reading in the item list though the other nuts seem mostly fine. Peanut butter is famous for being a relatively shelf stable form of densely packed calories.

Is one serving in the game 1 oz?

Servings are different for various food items. But the “handful of acorns” item weighs .07 pounds, which is just over an ounce.

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Yeah its too much then, a bit of searching online places them at around 110 calories for an oz