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About this mod

An overhaul of Skyrims food designed to allow the player to create three meals a day.

Permissions and credits

Now Compatible with
Expanded Towns & Cities (ETaC). Patches are in the Optional section.

Now Compatible with Harvest Overhaul - Creatures. Patches are in the Optional section.

Now Compatible with iNeed. Patches are in the Options section.

Also available with each of these are combinations of them
iNeed + ETaC
iNeed + HOC
iNeed + ETaC + HOC

There are now a total of 48 esps I've created for this little mod. And yet you only ever need to use ONE!!


Like most of you; I'm sure, I find Skyrim's food and cooking completely pointless and unrealistic when you're devouring an entire bushel of apples in front of a fire breathing beast. While I know there's a few food mods out there already, I had my own take on things. And since I hate typing, I shall now forever refer to this as ZFO.

What this does:
ZFO overhauls Skyrim's food and it's effects, designed to allow the player to create three meals a day. Hopefully deterring you from eating raw foods and actually spend time cooking, or at least looking for cooked foods on vendors.

    I wanted my character to be able to eat a hearty breakfast that would last till lunch time. Then the same till dinner. This is accomplished by breaking down foods into a few categories. Each with it's own general area of buffs and time lengths, with most meals lasting you 4 to 5 hours in game.

    At the moment ZFO comes in three flavors of Time Scale:  1:6 , 1:8 , 1:10 .The length of time food effects use is separated by Time Scale.

So, at 1:6 scale, you'll be able to play about 40-50mins between meals.
At 1:8 scale, you'll be able to play about 30-37mins between meals.
At 1:10 scale, you'll be able to play about 24-30mins between meals.

Hopefully my math is right ;) I didn't go any higher with Time Scale options as anything higher than 1:10 just seems like it would be micromanaging. Though if you're using the default time scale (1:20) or anything inbetween just use the 1:10 options.

Just choose the Time Scale option you're using or are closest to. Each Time Scale option comes in two versions. Normal version keeps the vanilla naming convention. Labeled version adds a 'category' label before each food item. I find it makes making meal choices a lot easier.

Example: Time scale 1:6 would be
(Normal) ZFO-TS6.esp      food looks like : 'Baked Potatoes' or 'Cooked Beef'
(Labeled) ZFO-TS6-Labeled.esp     food looks like : 'Side - Baked Potatoes' or 'Main Course - Cooked Beef'

About the food itself:
(All times below are in game.)

General rule of thumb
Seafood and Sweets for the Mind - Meats for Vigor - Starches and Plants for Longevity

  • Food no longer instantly replenishes your Health, Magicka or Stamina on consumption.
  • Raw meats are a mix of detrimental and positive effects, but all will slow you down. (Lasts 1 hour)
  • Snacks (Raw Fruits and veggies) will provide a short, small bonus to one regen % rate for Health/Magicka/Stamina. (30mins)
  • Side Dishes (Breads, Cheeses, cooked veggies, dumplings) are a mix of small buffs from fortifying Health/Magicka/Stamina, their restore rates and/or small skill buffs. (3-4 hours)
  • Entrees (Soup and Stew) mostly provide you with Resistance buffs and a small skill buff. (4 hours)
  • Main Courses (Cooked Meats) mostly provide a nice Fortify buff to Health/Magicka/Stamina, their restore rates and a nice skill buff. (5 Hours)
  • Desserts (Sweets) generally provide caster related buffs. Fortified Magicka, restore rates and skill buffs (3-5 hours)

So, my thinking is:
Eating raw meats and snacks are not worth the consumption. Raw meats being harder to digest than cooked forces your digestive system to work harder, slowing you down. And just as in life, snacks will only last you 20-40 minutes of energy. But eating a real meal consisting of one each of an Entree, Main Course, a side and maybe a dessert would give me just enough edge in my adventuring every 4 to 5 hours in game.
Soups and stews are normally something we consume on cold days to keep our bodies warm a while longer. With that in mind all entrees have frost resistance. Which I hope comes in handy for anyone using any of the "immersive needs" type mods. Side dishes provide your carbs, the main course being the 'bread and butter' of the meal. And hey, who doesn't want dessert?!

I'll admit it can be a bit overpowering in early levels, but starts leveling itself out after a few levels.

Though it's up to you; the player, to control yourself and eat a proper meal and not cheat. Again, there are no scripts! So, there's nothing stopping you from scarfing down 20 Leg of Goat Roasts and gaining 40 points of Light Armour.

Oh and since the Guards are constantly being called for stolen Sweet Rolls, it only seemed fitting Sweet Rolls should boost Pickpocket ;)

Other things done in ZFO:

Adds new foods:

Ash Hopper Roast
Hopper Stew
Boar Meat Stew
Poultry Soup
Rabbit Stew
Mammoth Stew
Equine Stew
Goat Stew
Cannibal Soup
She Crab Soup
Potato and Carrot Soup

Added Keyword(s) VendorItemFood or VendorItemFoodRaw to foods missing them touched by ZFO.
Added Crafting recipes for new foods listed above.
Added new foods above to Inn Keeper level lists.
Adjusted prices for all food modified by ZFO.

Does not adjust food weights.

ALL food effects are NEW (copied over) Magic Effects created in the CS for use in ZFO. So, no matter what
effect the food has, you won't see any shader/screen effects. And they WILL NOT mess with any other mods
that change the standard Magic Effects.

You can find a full list of changes, foods and their effects in the change log.

  • ZFO does not touch potions, alchemy ingredients, drinks, ale or wine. Just food.
  • It will conflict with any other mod that changes food and it's effects.
  • If you're using a mod that alters food and drink, and would like to use ZFO, just load ZFO after your other mod. You'll get the drinks from the other mod and food from ZFO.
  • A note for iNeeds users. ZFO increases food prices about 2-10g an item and iNeeds has an MCM option to increase food prices, pick one or the other.

  • Skyrim 1.9.blahblahblah
  • Dawnguard
  • Hearthfire
  • Dragonborn

  • If using any of the Optional files, please make sure you meet the requirements for that mod as well.
  • The iNeed+HarvestOverhaul-Creatures options has their load orders set to:
  • HarvestOverhaul-Creatures.esp
  • iNeed.esp
  • ZFOiNeedHOC.esp
  • If that isn't how you have it on your set up, you can leave it like that or you can use TES5Edit to sort masters for you. It'll take you about 40 seconds to do so.

  • Pick which .esp you want to use and activate it. Load after anything else that alters food effects.
  • If you're using any of the optional patches, replace the original ZFO.esp with the one from the optional patch. ZFO loads after required mod(s).

  • Wait off any active food effects you may have. (Not sure if having active effects would do anything, but it doesn't hurt to be safe.)
  • Deactivate and delete the .esp
  • No fuss. No muss. No scripts.

Things I'd Like to do:

  • Unique textures for added recipes.
  • I may do drinks in the future, but for now I won't. What I'd like to do would probably need scripts. And I know there's a few mods that already
  • do such things.

Please don't upload this to any other site.

Thanks to TES5Edit
Food Layout in title screen courtesy of MissJennaBee's ETaC