Project Zomboid Food Guide and Tips

Project Zomboid Food Items

Food is arguably the most critical resource in Project Zomboid. It includes all types of items that you can consume to recover your thirst or hunger. Certain kinds of foods can also affect your character’s moodles.

How To Cook Food

Cooking food reduces the risk of food poisoning and makes it more satisfying, nutritious, and satiating. To cook food, simply place it in a cooker or microwave – or perhaps a campfire if you’ve fled town.

Cooking Food

To turn appliances on with the right-click menu, retrieve your baked goods from its loot window once it’s cooked. Turn off the appliance when you’re done though, unless you want to cook your whole house too. Antique stoves, fireplaces, and campfires require fuel, so remember to stock up on wood to burn (or books, if you’re illiterate).

Valuable Tips Regarding Food Items

Considering how you are required to eat food to restore any lost health, it is essential to have good knowledge on the topic. Today I will give you useful tips regarding the different types of food present in the game.

Identifying Poisonous Berries

In the current state of the game, the only method of knowing if a berry is poisonous is to choose the herbalist trait during character creation. By random, one of the berries in your game will be poisonous. Another method of identifying them is to read the herbalist recipe magazine.

You could select two berries of the same type and choose the salad option from the result. If it showed more than one option, it meant that the berry used was poisonous. Eating a poisonous berry can kill you.

Since the type of berry considered poisonous is randomized each game, the color of the poisonous berry will be different in every new game. As such, remember not to depend on past experiences to eat berries.

These tips are also applicable in the case of mushrooms.

Taking Precaution with a Weak Stomach

If you are using the weak stomach negative trait on your character, you need to be extra careful! The effect of poisonous berries will be worsened because of a weak stomach. For example, if you first drink a mouthful of dirty water from the ground or river and then eat a poisonous berry, you will instantly die! Even with a good stomach, eating a large amount of spoiled food will eventually kill you.

Making a Salad

To make a salad, you need to have the following

  1. Kitchen Knife
  2. Bowl
  3. Cooked Meat or Other Vegetables etc

Having a high level of the cooking skill can enable you to cook rotten food.

Converting Spoiled/ Rotten Food to Fresh

You can hoard spoiled food for when you reach cooking level 7. At this point, it can be cooked and will become fresh to eat.

Rotten Food

Eating Effectively

You can interrupt your progress while eating. To do this, either perform a push or sprint action. By doing so, your character will have consumed the food for which the progress bar had already finished.

Utilizing a Watermelon

Instead of smashing an entire watermelon, you can eat a quarter of it directly. Use the previous tip to interrupt the progress of eating. Watermelon can be cut into ten pieces. Make sure to eat only 1/8th at a time.

Winter Rationing

In all seasons except winter, you can find berries, cockroaches, and grasshoppers deep in the woods. Most of these items never get spoiled. You can save them up as a winter ration if you run out of food.

Forking Spears

It is possible to fork wooden spears at a water body’s edge. However, this will take a long time to accomplish. If you do this, don’t go below the seventh level. At this point, the chances of getting one are the same as gambling! Furthermore, the growth of your fishing skill will be extremely slow.


You can keep unsliced fish in your refrigerator for two and a half weeks in a fresh state. This is extended to five weeks if rotten. On the other hand, filleted fish will have only half of this preservation time.

Fork/Spoon Trick

If you eat canned food with a fork or spoon icon present on it, your character will eat it with a fork or spoon! Surprising right? Time for a ritual!

Importance of Canned food

Cans of food are standard items in residential homes. Each house can contain one to two dozen cans depending upon their refreshment. As such, it’s a good idea to keep a can opener with you whenever you find one.

A can of sardines can be opened directly. It has no correlation with a can opener.

Canning to Increase Shelf Life

Canning foods and vegetables can increase their shelf life for a maximum of one month. This pales in comparison to certain mods that allow you to extend it up to two years!

Gaining Weight in Winter

High-calorie items that hardly turn bad, including potato chips, butter, ice cream, and canned beef, can eventually be eaten in winter to gain weight. Since food sources become scarce in the winters, this can help you survive throughout!

Boredom and Depression

Some foods affect your boredom and depression attributes. A high amount of depression will cause you to have reduced attack accuracy and power. Furthermore, you will pick things up and perform actions slower. On the other hand, you can deal with the boredom stat by killing zombies.

Regarding picking things up slowly, pay close attention to your depression meter. A high level of depression will make you perform actions like picking items up exceptionally slowly. It’s enough to drive you nuts!

Planting Strawberries

If you have plans to stay at home for the winter season and were unable to find a cotton coat or stove for warmth (to keep your depression stat in check), you can plant a strawberry! Every day or two, planting one will help you effectively reduce your amount of depression.

Planting Cabbages

If the days are easy and you’re living leisurely, you can instead think of planting some cabbage. It remains fresh for two days. Since it’s a fourteen-day cycle, this will provide you with fresh vegetables to eat every day! However, remember that the cabbage needs to grow till the seventh stage of the harvest. Otherwise, it will not provide you with any cabbage seeds!

Storing Potatoes

You can store fresh potatoes at room temperature for one and a half weeks. Placed in a refrigerator, this value is increased to over two months! Note that putting them in the fridge and freezing them will provide the same effect.

Using a Sack

You can use a sack to carry soil that you have obtained from shoveling grass with you. Right-clicking in an open space will dump this, placing a soil grid in the location. A sack can contain a maximum of 4 grams of soil. Generally, 14 to 30 pieces of soil is more than enough to prepare dishes indefinitely!

Effective Trapping

A practical method of trapping animals is by using a cage deep in the woods. This will increase your probability of catching animals. It’s best to check the cage once per day for anything you caught!

Be sure to practice your trapping skills before winter arrives. Doing so will help you harvest more rabbits and other small animals.

It’s a good practice to keep your cage trap at least one hundred to two hundred meters away from where you live. The noise you make in carrying out your everyday tasks might reduce your trapping probability. Note that this is a personal assessment and has not been tested out enough!

Using Mouse Traps

If you use mouse traps, placing them in either restaurant kitchens or vegetable stores is best. You can also put them in dessert stores for practical usage. Someone specified that placing it near a door is good to increase your chances of catching a mouse. I’ve rarely tested that out, but personally, the cabinet side seems to work like a charm!

Utilizing Food

In order to make it through the day in the least amount, you will have to eat 40-50 value of food points. If you plan to perform a medium number of actions, this will increase to 70-80 units. In contrast, eating a large amount of food would require about 150 units. Combats of high intensity will also require you to eat a more significant amount of food than usual.

Believe it or not, eating food creates noise. Although this is very small, zombies in a place close to you, such as an outside wall, might still hear it and find you!

Food and Combat Effectiveness

If possible, prevent eating bad or rotten food before going into combat. Not doing so can cause a significant decline in your combat power. Seriously, who can fight well with a bad stomach?

Food placed inside the freezer will, well, freeze. Upon taking it out, it will take approximately one and a half hours to thaw out completely.

Vegetable Freshness Cycles

Generally, vegetables can remain fresh at room temperature for one to seven days. They start to become rotten after six to fifteen days. If placed in the refrigerator, they can remain fresh for slightly over a week. Potatoes are the only exception to this.

Collecting Items

In the new version, considering the five collective terrains, you can search for fresh or canned food in the city as well as the edge of it. You can also find drinks, amongst other things, but you will need your collection level to at least be 1 in order to do this. The chances of finding these items at a collection level of 0 are next to none. Although, I once did get lucky and find a can of potatoes!

Long-term Preservation Foods

The best source of long-term preservation type of food is the kitchen area in residence. This is closely followed by forests and meadows, which can give you valuable insects such as grasshoppers. Lastly, you can also dig plowed land to have a chance of obtaining earthworms!


This guide was meant to give you essential tips regarding different food items, their uses, and other valuable information. I hope it helped you out!