Food Additives and Soup Comparison

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Food Additives and Soup are two mutually exclusive laws with varying benefits. This guide will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both to help a player determine which option is better for their play through.

This guide primarily focuses on workforce consumption due to the differences in laws, and assumes the player wants to feed their citizens once a day.

Descriptions[edit | edit source]

Each law improves the ratio in which Cookhouses can convert Raw Food into Food Rations.

Food Additives[edit | edit source]

The Food Additives law allows you to convert 2 Raw Food into 6 Food Rations, at the cost of your citizens getting sick. The amount your citizens get sick is based on your Citizen's Needs difficulty: 3.5% for Easy up to 6.5% for Extreme.

Soup[edit | edit source]

Main article: Soup (Adaptation Law)

The Soup law allows you to to convert 2 Raw Food into 5 Food rations, at the cost of discontent. The amount of discontent is based on your Society's Attitude difficulty, but is typically minor.

Basics[edit | edit source]

There are several options to fulfill the city's Raw Food requirement: Hunters' Huts, Hunters' Hangars, Hothouses, Industrial Hothouses, Scouting, and Outpost Depots. There are also several options for the city's healthcare needs: Medical Posts, Infirmaries, and Houses of Healing. Each of these different industries have different efficiencies related to them, and will affect how useful Soup and Sawdust are.

Food Additives essentially allows you to improve your Food Ration infrastructure at a cost to your Medical infrastructure. This makes it a better choice when you have a highly efficient Medical industry in relation to your Raw Food industry. It tends to be the better choice if you decide to use Hunters' Huts or Hunters' Hangars as your Raw Food source and Infirmaries as your Medical source. If you go the hunter route but get Infirmaries later in the game, it's also a better choice at the start of the game, when most buildings aren't upgraded, regardless of your Medical infrastructure at the time (i.e. it's still the better choice with un-upgraded Medical Posts and un-upgraded Hunters' Huts)

Soup is generally better if you chose Hothouses or Industrial Hothouses, regardless of your Medical source, and later in the game is generally better if you chose Medical Posts or Houses of Healing, regardless of your Raw Food source.

Since the ideal scenario in terms of workforce usage is Industrial Hothouses and Infirmaries, Soup is ideally the better option. This does, however, have a high Steam Core cost.

Game difficulty also has an effect - easier difficulties are more forgiving to Sawdust than they are to Soup.

Advanced[edit | edit source]

This mechanic has a lot of interaction with other Game Mechanics. Any Laws or Technologies that modify how the city produces Food or Healthcare can affect the efficacy of this choice. While many Laws and Technologies improve both Soup and Sawdust, most of them improve one more than the other.

The tradeoff between these two laws is not only concerned with how many workers you need in your raw food infrastructure, but also how many cooks are needed, how much of your workforce is going to be sick (and therefore not working while in treatment), and how much of your workforce is needed to treat those sick citizens.

Beneficial Mechanics for Soup[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of Laws and Technologies that are more beneficial for Soup than they are for Food Additives. Generally, anything that makes your Raw Food infrastructure more efficient will improve Soup's efficacy.

Any external Raw Food source such as Scouting and Outpost Depots will improve the efficacy of Soup as it's a boon to your Raw Food industry. Any law that reduces discontent will also make Soup more manageable.

Beneficial Mechanics for Food Additives[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of Laws and Technologies that are more beneficial for Food Additives than they are for Soup. Generally, anything that makes your Medical infrastructure more efficient will improve Sawdust's efficacy.

Any additional Food Ration requirement (such as preparing for the storm in A New Home, saving New Manchester in The Arks, supplying the dreadnought with food in The Fall of Winterhome, and supplying food for the storm in Endless mode) will improve the efficacy of Sawdust as it puts a bigger strain on your Raw Food industry (comparatively making that industry more inefficient).

Situationally Dependent Mechanics[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of mechanics that may benefit one law or the other depending on how they are employed.

  • Child Labour - Safe Jobs (Law) - From a pure numbers standpoint, employing Sawdust with Child Labour means that more of your workforce is sick, and therefore Soup is the better option. However, if you have a surplus of Children and are using Houses of Healing, you can reduce your Healthcare workforce strain on your Workers and Engineers, allowing it to improve Sawdust more.