N18 The average Necromundan's diet.

Aug 14, 2018
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With the addition of Corpse Grinder Cults, it would be as if corpse starch is an enough prevalent element to the average Necromundan's diet as to validate the presence of so many Emperor-damned butcher maniac gangs, but I feel we are missing the whole picture here. Simply put you cannot sustainably feed the Hive with the remains of their predecessors, there have to be more nutritional outlets there if only for the sake of variety. If memory serves there were mentions in the older rulebook about algae farms and fungal patches being exploited for foodstuffs.

I open this thread for the fun of naming what passes for food below the Spire:

(Please note that despite what you might have heard alcohol is not a valid source of nutrition).
(Jokes aside who wouldn't want to live their days drunk in that hellhole).

1) Animal origin:

- Corpse starch: Human remains rendered down to flavorless wafers, think of Soylent Green.

- Other people: As above but with higher flavor at the cost of intense moral doubts, less the deeper you travel down-Hive.

- Giant rat meat: Obvious considering there are countless tribes of uncivilized people living off them (Ratskins anyone?). Perhaps farms exis, on top of hunting grounds.

- Giant spider meat: If memory serves hunting these critters is a lifestyle, if not an industry, in some parts. Eyes are solid enough to be sold as gems, the pale flesh is good too.

- Insect farms: Though I have not seen it mentioned anywhere it would not surprise me. Roaches and beetle larvae are staples present even in today's market.

- Unexplored fauna: Millipedes and Ripper Jacks come to mind as valid sources if they were not so dangerous to hunt down.

All in all meat would seem logically scarce and expensive even when somehow locally produced, seeing how most of it derives from deadly predators or simply limited fauna.


2) Vegetable origin:

- Algae pools: Extraordinarily expensive considering water is a problem, but it was mentioned in a short story regarding "the Devil Valois" in the old rulebook. Spiruline comes to mind but I think algae require much sunlight to prosper, no idea how a Hiver would go about providing that outside of powerful lamps.

- Fungi patches: As you surely know by now Necromunda is rife with moulds and other parasitical life forms. The tepid darkness of some corners are ideal for their growth.

- Hydroponic farms: A pipe dream outside the affluent reach of large corporations and I do not want to know how much a turnip goes for in credits.


Feel free to contribute!
 
Mar 8, 2019
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Agreed on the silliness of Corpse Starch being the staple for everyone, I would assume upper hive and wealthier hivers would eat imported off world food, it's also possible they import basic rations in exchange for whatever it is Necromunda produces for the wider imperium.

For underhivers I'd presume a subsistence diet of fungus, slime, algae and whatever local beasties theyve managed to get the drop on first, supplemented by the corpse-starch ration.. with that in mind it's easy to see how Corpse Grinders with their "dont-ask-questions" offer of fresh meat can gain a foothold!
 
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I wonder what sort of critters that World Sump sea/ocean on the Necromunda's map might hold. I also wonder if Tyranid organisms are edible, even if the bullet-resistant carapace kind of suggests they are not easy to chew!
 
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Aulenback

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I wonder what sort of critters that World Sump sea/ocean on the Necromunda's map might hold. I also wonder if Tyranid organisms are edible, even if the bullet-resistant carapace kind of suggests they are not easy to chew!
Well, Sump Spiders skating across the surface, for one.

Plus, of course, sump monsters.

Giant clams [related to the Ash Clams found out in the dry Wastes], from the Outlanders book bestiary. Sludge jellies also from the bestiary in Outlanders ["Sludge jellies are venomous stinging jellyfish that live in the sludge seas"]. Spine crystals similarly.
 
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Stoof

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Necromunda imports vast quantites of basic rations - I'm pretty sure it's expressly mentioned in the new rulebook fluff that what goes out is equipment and what comes in is huge shipments of basic foodstuffs for the workforce, even that the planet is only ever one missed shipment away from utter anarchy.

This food could be from anywhere, but I imagine it's bulk, high-calorie easily packed stuff with a very very long shelf-life - think military MREs but probably more bland, because 40k. A tiny proportion of it will be actual nice food for the upper spires. It could even be corpse starch from warzones - ships head out with weapons and come back with bodies (logistics 101, you try to never go anywhere with an empty hold).

For all the currently in-vogue focus on lcoally sourced corpse-starch, it would simply be impossible to feed the colossal population purely on the remains of their predecessors from a purely scientific point of view - even discounting that Necromunda sends millions upon millions of hive workers to the imperial guard (i.e. removing all those calories from the food chain), people actually use energy all the time - the corpse of a worked-to-death 30 year old hive citizen does not contain every calorie they've ever eaten, it could not nourish even one replacement person up to working age, even if that age is 5 or 6. Diminishing returns would starve the population to death in short order.

From the stories I remember people eating millisaur eggs, basic imperial issue ration bars which could be from any source, rat, other people, fungus, nutritious slime... all washed down with lots and lots of alcohol of widely varying deadliness. Second Best could be an equivalent of the "small beer" that used to be a staple of workers everywhere - full of calories, alcoholic enough to kill bacteria in it, and keeps you slightly pissed so everything hurts a little less.

"Synthetic" food ultimately boils down power availability - for sunllight lamps and heaters for instance, and if there's one thing Necromunda seems to have a reasonably plentiful supply of, it's power generating capability from the huge thermal sinks at the core of the hives. I heard on the radio recently about a present day company that currently makes synthetic meat - all that goes in is electricity for light and heat, and a special bacteria that grows and multiplies in that light and heat. Out comes a very nutritious mush that can be flavoured into whatever you like. The only real limit to it is available space and how much energy you can put in.
 
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Punktaku

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Yeah, Necromunda exports arms and munitions, and IG regiments too.

im thinking the best imports stay in the spire. Some may trickle down into the hive city proper, with the underhive to the Sump getting nothing but waste product.

BUT if current age Japan can turn human excrement into non-burgers, I imagine 40k era could fully recycle it into ration bars. Uphive poop maybe goes into better quality recycled foodstuffs?

“Stoof’s Yakbaps” has a whole new meaning... “Recycled from real Stoof!” And Hive Guys Grox Burgers may be made from Grox instead of made of Grox!
 

Scavvierising

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At any point their is supposed to be hundreds if not thousands of merchant vessels in system. I'm sure many will of come via an agri world. Even if all those nice healthy veggies and meat made from recognisable animals has probably gone through the whole turn it into a dry powder to make it cheap to ship process.
 
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Found this entry on the wikia:

 

Punktaku

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Found this entry on the wikia:

Wow! Someone did their research
 

Aulenback

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Wow! Someone did their research
Phew! That's a lot of sources:
  • Codex: Space Marines (3rd Edition), pg. 48
  • Dark Heresy: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 148-149
  • Dark Heresy: Inquisitor's Handbook (RPG), pp. 105, 129, 165
  • Necromunda: Outlanders (Supplement), pg. 57
  • Rogue Traders: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 141-143
  • Rogue Traders: Into the Storm (RPG), pg. 134
  • Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader (1st Edition), pp. 212-213
  • Fulgrim (Novel) by Graham McNeill
  • Deathwatch (Novel) by Steve Parker
  • Eisenhorn Trilogy by Dan Abnett
  • Fire Warrior (Novel) by Simon Spurrier, pg. 156
  • For The Emperor (Novel) by Sandy Mitchell
  • Grey Knights (Novel) by Graham McNeill
  • The Last Ditch (Novel) by Sandy Mitchell
  • Necropolis (Novel) by Dan Abnett
  • Knightsblade (Novel) by Andy Clark, pg. 155
  • Nemesis (Novel) by James Swallow
  • Priests of Mars (Novel), pg. 88
  • Shadowsun (Novella), pg. 28
  • Gaunt's Ghosts novel series by Dan Abnett
  • Caves of Ice (Novel) by Sandy Mitchell
  • The Greater Good (Novel) by Sandy Mitchell
I only wish they had footnoted the source for each item [which are from 40K Rogue Trader? Which are from Necromunda? Which are from Dark Heresy RPG? Etc.
 
I may only be a Biologist and not a nutritionist, but the whole corpse starch thing rustles my normally quite solid Jimmies something awful. As others have mentioned, it's impossible to feed a population on its own remains, the energy decay alone would doom this in less than a generation. Also, there are a LOT of good reasons we as humans stopped practicing cannibalism on a large scale a while ago, but one is a lovely thing called prion disease which affects people who eat the meat, chiefly the brains and nerves, of other humans. Doesn't matter if it is in powder form or otherwise, as far as I know.

Kuru is one of them, and it was studied in tribes on Papua New Guinea practicing funerary cannibalism. I mean, it does sometimes turn you into a gibbering maniac, but that is not from venerating the dark gods, but from brain damage. So if anything, the whole thing should be about Nurgle, not Khorne. And beyond that, it's also a very weird concept in my opinion and has no other reason except GRIMDARK.

Yes, yes, Neromunda is grim and dark grimdark now, but come on, what is this, Soylent Green meets Hellraiser? If you have that many corpses, mulch them and grow fungus. You don't even need light or a lot of water.
 

Aulenback

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a lovely thing called prion disease which affects people who eat the meat, chiefly the brains and nerves, of other humans
Yes, chickens eating chicken brain don't do well. Cows eating cow brain have problems. Humans eating human brain suffer for it.

Mind you, there we see Scavvies.

That said, the reason it is included is specifically to be a Soylent Green or Logan's Run or The Time Machine trope. It is a "pastiche science fiction" touch-point. Yes, it is "Wells SF" [soft sci-fi] rather than "Verne SF" [hard sci-fi]. But that's not, in itself, a problem [in a setting with the Warp, and space elves, and necromancy emperors, and such].


 
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That said, the reason it is included is specifically to be a Soylent Green or Logan's Run trope. It is a "pastiche science fiction" touch-point. Yes, it is "Wells SF" [soft sci-fi] rather than "Verne SF" [hard sci-fi]. But that's not, in itself, a problem [in a setting with the Warp, and space elves, and necromancy emperors, and such].
Yes, it has venerable roots, and maybe I am being a bit unkind, but let me clarify that I don't mind the entire idea of working with literal human resources in a scifi setting "like that" (I've had this interesting moment of "Oh, THAT'S what that means" first time built "Recycling Tanks" in ye olde Alpha Centauri), the whole throwing everyone into huge Bosch-esque machinery and using that just outstrips my silliness quota.

But then again, if we apply to much hard scifi to Necromunda, we quickly tumble into bizarre territory like "How exactly do people live without light for generations?" and it soon mushrooms into uncomfortable discussions about Vitamin D. So I accept the whole CGC thing, but I do think it's a bit silly.
 

Punktaku

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I was going to suggest that maybe the prion and kuru was kept as the Neuron Plague Zombies, but then i remembered that that is transferable through attacks like infected bites and scratches...
 
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Galtarr

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Grox - Grox burgers etc.. I always assumed these formed some form of sustenance To mid and low hive, even if not to the depths.

Some food will be imported in Massive bulk its just a question of how far down the hive it goes.

Corpse starch cannot be a sole sustenance but it does make sense to not let a known resource got to waste. Maybe it is mulched down and processed by fungi or bacteria before being served up again.

Seriously if people think veganism will save our planet how much more so cannibalism? And if people can't eat people. Then feed people to sump crocs (insert carnivore of choice) and eat sump crocs... Even eating rats which feed on processed food waste / corpses meets this criteria.

Farming in this world will be industrialised. Algae or fungal or yeast based food grown in vats will contribute. We already do, seriously watch a video on making of Quorn, it fits right in in the underhive.

No sole food source will keep a population as vast as the hive productive.

So I imagine a mix of:
Imported grox burgers, etc..
Local meat be it grox, giant rats, sump croc.
Local plant based, possibly more so uphive - look up vertical farming, in addition to hydro & aqua-ponics all starting to be done in warehouses already.
Vat based fungal/algae based.
Highly processed food substitutes think Huel / Soylent
- Wait they're actually marketing that stuff as soylent?
:eek:🤦‍♂️

My rambling thoughts anyway.
 
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Scavvierising

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Most of the old fluff says that they import nearly all their food stuffs. After all they got to be trading all the tat they produce for something. Also the imperium does have agri worlds to feed planets like necromunda. Of course with the cost of space shipping refigeration units etc, a lot probably will be processed into dry nutri-powder stuff to feed the masses.
Corpse starch was originally mentioned as a thing that spook had started sprouting out of(as well as adding the compulsory grimdark) and was not necessary a big part of the diet.
I imagine it's more of something they make and stockpile to use in emergencies. Trillions of people, trade across hundreds of worlds and the unreliability of warp travel could easily disrupt the flow of food.
Also even if it is a tiny fraction of the diet. with a hundred trillion (?) people in the population it will still be a billion credit industry with hundreds of thousands involved in production and distribution.