No positive health foods?

Glancing at the item browser, I can’t find any foods with a positive health - is that right? Even things that make a reference to being healthy in their description (eg bee balm tea) have zero health. Am I missing something?

There used to be a green “+” marker for most foods, but I did notice that it disappeared for whatever reason in some build from 2 months ago. I assume that’s still the case now.

It would be nice for that to be back, because as it stands, the menus are getting more and more cluttered and a lot of important information keeps getting pushed out of view. :confused:


Yeah, see Bound food health between -1 and 0 by Fris0uman · Pull Request #57225 · CleverRaven/Cataclysm-DDA · GitHub

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That’s going to be a very strange system now - tons of ways to decrease health and very few ways to increase it. If your health gets low (like an addict start) there’s no way you’re going to get out of the hole.

It is kind of odd because additionally teas are extra pointless. They quench less than straight water, the vitamin content is usually pretty negligible. Drinking them for morale isn’t helpful because the boost is so low and gets lowered still more if you have the audacity to drink more than a quarter liter every three days.

There is the somewhat niche use of putting them in a thermos for a mobile “hot meal” boost, but even still.

Personally I feel like the health boost should just be capped at one or two points a day from food and beverages. This study has some more useful information on the minor health benefits of tea without getting into the pretty suspect holistic type websites, but doesn’t cover any of the herbal teas we see in game.

From what I understand, it’s not that the food does not increase the health stat. It still does, it just isn’t shown because… reasons I guess? (like most of the additions and changes to the game, “for reasons™” and that’s it.)

Reading through the comments to that PR I really left with the impression that the idea was to be “new player friendly” but imo it really does nothing for new players, it really only misleads people including long-time players - especially them.

It’s just yet another example of things being taken away for no reason other than “someone felt like it that day.” It’s been a constant thing in the past 2-stable releases timeline.

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From what I understand there are now a bunch of new ways to increase it: getting all your vitamins, sleeping, aerobic exercise, maybe some more that I forget/are not yet implemented.

Will they be doing away with the flat - healths in consumables too? Seems like the + will be from other stuff and in a more gradual manner, while the - are still stuck with the old system. Would they be vitaminizing unhealthy things too like nicotine and other drug effects?

Might as well also hide the negative health effect for food and drugs to be consistent. Perhaps a CBM or the Self Aware trait could make both positive and negative effects of food and drugs visible again.


In reality, we (as people) know more or less what is healthy food and what isn’t - we know that a Ham, Tomato and Lettuce sandwich is healthy(ier) than a box of Maltesers or a packet of Toffee Drops or most junkfood. We generally know that “Junk Food = bad.”

Especially considering that the packets in food products and drugs often have the dietary thingies printed on them / manuals for dosage respectively. So it would actually be better to have a display of “positive and negative” things for both food and drugs - unless the character is illiterate, then in that regard, drugs and some junk food would be ???.

Self-Aware isn’t a trait anymore either. And having a CBM to do that for the player would be massively unrealistic. I could see a point for having a book of sorts that would “help” the player learn about nutrition (maybe a Health Care related book) though. I would suggest phones having an app that would tell the player how certain foods work, but there is no internet in the cataclysm, so most phone apps shouldn’t work at all.

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I was thinking about a book too, an encyclopedia of sorts, or a survivalists journal that updates food stats based on trial and error.

Also a CBM wouldn’t be any less realistic than most of the other ones available. Having an ocular scanner that gives more information on things similar to Google Lens, which of course if not for the lack of internet, like you said, would have made for a good phone app, akin to the nutrition tracker

Or to simplify everything just give the nutrition tracker app the ability to give information on if a food will effect health in a positive or negative way.


There’s a more basic way to help with this, personal preference, trial and error. Messages like these.

“You’ve never tried this before.”
“You’ve never tried this before, but you like chocolate.”
“You’ve never tried this before, and you like chocolate, but you don’t like coconut.” (limited to the 1 or 2 top ingredients)

First taste (First taste bonus/penalty can be significant, but things like Foodie can improve first taste bonus):
“You love this!” (high morale boost with a significant first taste bonus.)
“You like the taste, but the coconut just feels … wrong.” (low morale boost, no first taste bonus)
“You can’t get the taste out of your mouth / the smell out of your throat.”

Before second taste, in the recipe and food description you see:
“Please no.”
“Literally everything looks good now.” (if you’re starving)
“Normally it’d disgust you, but for some reason it looks really good.” (I have a story from my time in Russia, mostly borscht diet, then offered salo, disgusting to me, but craved by me presumably through a dietary deficiency.)

After eating too much at once:
“You’re not really enjoying it any more.”
“You’re not sure you’ll ever want this again.” (give it time)
“Now even the smell of it nauseates you.” (perhaps no coming back from it)

After overdoing a food, your preference relaxes generally back to second taste.

After starving self of a particular nutrient, and then eating something with a nutrient you lack, OR after not eating junk food/drinking alcohol for a long time.
“You really enjoyed the variety this time.” (Extra morale boost like first taste)

After eating a lot of food lacking any nutrition, and then eating something substantial and nutritious:
“You feel a lot better after eating it. You like the junk food, and you didn’t even notice how icky it made you feel.” (that’s right. Icky.)

A lot of work to implement, but could help figure out what recipes to try, and might make for some interesting game play.

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Personal preference should be dictated by the player though, not by some random arbitrary person decided something like “this particular type of toast-ems is better than the others because I say so 8)” though. I for example like fruit and love chocolate, but never had, say, Peppermint Patties (something I didn’t even know was a thing before I played the game, because I am not from the USA), and I am also not a big fan of crisps (packed potato chips). Why is the game so hell bent in implying that my character either likes them a lot or equally to other things, why can’t I decide what I like?

So if that is ever a mechanic, it probably should be part of the “flavour” character making before the game starts - like hair, skin colour, etc.

I also do not agree that we should have a “overdoing a food” thing. If someone has a favourite dish (or dishes), they’ll most likely never get “tired” of it - and it’s one of those arbitrary things that I do not understand why they were implemented in the first place: why do you lose “joy” from eating chocolate, or from having pizza you just made, just because you had it yesterday? Or just because you had a bite off of it 5 seconds ago, like it literally happens in-game? Makes no sense, really.

No, although from what I read in Clarify Health and make it work as expected · Issue #37446 · CleverRaven/Cataclysm-DDA · GitHub, there is some intention to cap the amount of negative health from food per day. Also note that a lot of negative health effect foods were changed to -1 (from -2 or lower).

This is a misunderstanding, the +health effects are removed, not hidden.

Its a relativistic position - That first Bite of Chocolate is going to be delicious and make you happy. That second bite is not going to be any more delicious than the first, and happiness isn’t just an infinite climbing scale. If its not any more delicious, the increase in happiness from having a lot of chocolate is not going to be nearly as substantial.

Rough IRL Example: Give someone a slice of cake. They are going to be quite happy with the first bite. They are not going to be euphoric by the time they finish the cake. If they have that cake every day, its impact is going to wane further.

now give someone a slice of cake after they’ve only eaten literal rotten and moldy flesh for the past month. They are not going to think its bland because they had it for a day 3 months ago, which is the case in-game.
it seems that once you try something it never reaches the same amount of deliciousness which doesn’t make sense.

I think it’s a “it varies from person to person” kind of scenario - which is why I think these variables are kind of arbitrary as the player has no control over them. For instance, we cannot choose our “favourite food”. Yet, there are some foods in the game that have different variants (Toast-ems) and one of them has higher “joy” stat than the others because it’s strawberry flavoured(?).

Or how the game assumes no player character likes Crispy Cranberry - why though?

That’s not the case in game, the decrease in enjoyment goes away after 2 days.


never noticed that.
tbh havent played religiously in a while but thats good to know because i remember purposefully waiting to eat higher enjoyment foods, sometimes even waiting too long and letting them rot on accident