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AkumaKorgar

Corpse starch

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Just how seriously should we take the idea of corpse starch rations? I mean, I realize that it's the 40k universe and there is only war, and the setting has to be grim and dark to genuinely be 40k, but isn't corpse starch just a bit absurd? I mean, surely human corpses can't be that nutritious. Whatever happened to all those agri-worlds you hear about, whose sole purpose is to produce massive quantities of (palatable) foodstuffs for the ever-hungering hive worlds?

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 I don't think it's literally a corpse's starch.    But if it is, then yes the liquidated remains of a corpse could provide some sort of (grimdark) nutrients.

 

I think corpsestarch is just called corpse starch the same way hardtack was called hardtack (and probably just as edible).   In fact, describing corpse starch with the same sort of disgusting visuals (having to dip it in liquid to make it safe to eat without breaking your teeth, weevils crawling out of the pores in the grain) would probably be enough to get the point across.

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Fortinbras said:

 

 I don't think it's literally a corpse's starch.    But if it is, then yes the liquidated remains of a corpse could provide some sort of (grimdark) nutrients.

 I think corpsestarch is just called corpse starch the same way hardtack was called hardtack (and probably just as edible).   In fact, describing corpse starch with the same sort of disgusting visuals (having to dip it in liquid to make it safe to eat without breaking your teeth, weevils crawling out of the pores in the grain) would probably be enough to get the point across.

 

 

Ohhh, fair enough. I can see that. Rations that taste so foul it's LIKE it's made out of corpses.

Actually that fits with what I know of navy food. My dad served on an aircraft carrier back in the early '70s, he said they used to serve this chipped beef on toast which everyone called "SOS" or "**** On a Shingle" ;p

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Well, Agri-Worlds can only feed so many people, too, and the upper classes always get first dibs on everything. Also, what else would you do with such a rich source of protein, given that we already know even human waste gets recycled into nutritients?

It may be a bit cheesy, but I like the idea of Soylent Green in 40k.

soylent-green-is-people.jpg

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AkumaKorgar said:

Just how seriously should we take the idea of corpse starch rations? I mean, I realize that it's the 40k universe and there is only war, and the setting has to be grim and dark to genuinely be 40k, but isn't corpse starch just a bit absurd? I mean, surely human corpses can't be that nutritious. Whatever happened to all those agri-worlds you hear about, whose sole purpose is to produce massive quantities of (palatable) foodstuffs for the ever-hungering hive worlds?

I personally think the idea should be taken fairly seriously...

Imagine the average Imperial hive world. It has a population in excess of 20 billion. Its ecology is completely screwed, with little or no ability to sustain agriculture; apart from the vast cities, the world consists of deserts, ash wastes, poisoned oceans and the like. 

The world is completely reliant upon the wider Imperium to provide it with foodstuffs. To feed a population that size you'd need massive trade routes, running thousands of ships. But then imagine that-for whatever reason (warp storm, war etc)- the hive world is cut off from the wider Imperium.What happens then? 

Presumably rationing, food shortages, riots,  gradual breakdown in civil society, mass starvation, mass graves, cannibalism, and finally planetary extinction. In roughly that order. 

So you're a planetary governor, and you know that you're only one warp storm away from this happening. The Adminstratum will only give you enough food to feed your population, and only then on the condition that you keep up the tithe. The tithe is hugely demanding, so you can't afford to introduce "one family one child" population reduction measures, because you need the manpower. So how do you guard against the nightmare consequences of warpstorm isolation?

Well one option would be to stockpile rations against a future isolating event. You can't get excess rations from the Administratum, so what do you do? You ensure that all biomass available on the planet is recycled into a form which can both be eaten and stored for centuries. Where do you find such biomass? Well the options aren't pleasant... vermin, sewage...and human corpses. 20 billion humans is a lot of biomass, and if 0.837% of them are dying every year, (like on Earth at the moment,according to the CIA world factbook) that's 70kg (very rough average human weight) x 167400000 = well...thousands and thousands of tonnes of edible biomass. If all of this were to be canned and stored, it could potentially keep a human population alive for years.

So yeah, it's a grimdark concept, but it also kind of makes sense, I think.

Imagine vast, grim, dank cellars, filled with billions of cans of pressed human starch and mechanically recovered human flesh, stored on shelves stretching to the ceiling, in corridors running for hundreds of miles. The oppressive knowledge that millions of dead bodies lie here, waiting to serve their descendents one more time in the event of some catclysmic disaster...

Bon appetit!   happy.gif

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I believe you are supposed to take it literally.

 

In the Imperium of man, many bodies are skinned to give binding for the vast and ever expanding libraries of the administratum.

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Corpse Starch Ration Salad

 

Ingredients:
1 can of Corpse Starch Rations, regular or low-salt
1/4 cup diced white onion
1/4 cup diced sweet or dill pickle
1 large hard boiled egg, diced
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
Sandwich Spread or Salad Dressing to taste

Directions:
(1) Decan the Corpse Starch Rations.

(2) Either grind or use a food processor to reduce it to consistency of coarse hamburger. (Do not forget to recite the litany of Food Processing.)

(3) Mix with other ingredients using enough Sandwich Spread or Salad Dressing to get the spreading consistency you desire.

(4) Chill thoroughly. If necessary recite the litany of refrigeration, or simply expose the salad to the darkness of the outer void. 

(5) Serve as dip with chips or crackers or make into sandwiches. Ideal for BBQs, picnics or public witch burnings. 

Thought for the Day: The Emperor Protects those who always wash their hands before handling raw corpse starch rations.

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If you look at the thermodynamics, it cannot work. These numbers are a simplification to illustrate how it can't work:

To make 1 kg meat, you need <10 kg grain (or meat/other food). The number may be less, but you cannot make 1 kg of meat from 1kg feed.

I.e. you need more than 1 kg of corpse starch to make 1 kg of corpse starch (grow a human or abhuman). You can't grow meat from sunlight. Hmmmm, or perhaps that's just it. It's vatgrown stuff, based on sunlight or some other energy source...

Corpse starch, if actually sourced from humans, would be relatively rare and could probably not feed more than max. 10% of the population if you agree with my 1:10 food "efficiency". Could be the bottom 10%? The mutants?

I love this game =)

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Correction, it cannot work if thats ALL people eat.

However, as mentioned earlier, agri-worlds supply epic amounts of fresh food. Corpse starch is much more an easily storable way to dispose of such huge numbers of dead people.

 

Not only does it make sense from a stockpiling food sense, but also from a corpse disposal sense.

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 I had presumed that it was any kind of meat, ground up. Nobles might have delicacies like getting meat that's identifiable, but for everyone else they pretty much just tip the entire cow into a giant blender.

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 My explanation for corpse starch rations is that it's made from a corpse, but you're not literally eating human flesh.

Imagine a mortuary vault on a hive world, corpses spread out on slabs as far as you can see. Robed attendants walk between the slabs, sprinkling each corpse with fungal spores. Over the course of a week, the spores germinate, swelling into aggressive fungal growths leaching every possible nutrient from the corpse. At the end of the week all that remains of the corpse is a pile of dry bones, even the marrow leached away. The nutrient rich fungus is harvested, processed, and pressed into bricks of "corpse starch".

Imagine a vat the size of an olympic swimming pool, workers in heavy rubber suits and gas masks tipping corpses into a thick broth of chemicals and tailored bacteria. The broth bubbles and churns, breaking down each body into its basic biochemical components. The end result is a thick nutrient rich organic sludge ready to be processed into corpse starch, medicines, and raw material for vat grown tissue.

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Probably still better off rendering them down as fertiliser as humans, being at the top of the food chain can accumulate Prion's, which are next to impossible to remove with conventional sterilisation as they're massively resistant to heat, chemicals and hard radiation. Plus as an animal we accumulate a fair few heavy metals like mercury, lead and cadmium, organic nasties derived from plastics industries which dont go away either.

I could see a big comback of things like Kuru (Sleeping Sickness) and BSE (Mad Cow Disease) in a community which made a habit of eating the dead. They're mostly the cause of some long standing taboos in most communities that cannibalism causes illness, so the name Corpse Starch is possibly a slang term or reference to something like hydroponic potatoes grown in nutrients derived from rendered dead people. Raising plants overall is also fairly efficient, especially if you've had a magos-biologus mess with them to improve growth rates and size.

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MKX said:

Probably still better off rendering them down as fertiliser as humans, being at the top of the food chain can accumulate Prion's, which are next to impossible to remove with conventional sterilisation as they're massively resistant to heat, chemicals and hard radiation. Plus as an animal we accumulate a fair few heavy metals like mercury, lead and cadmium, organic nasties derived from plastics industries which dont go away either.

I could see a big comback of things like Kuru (Sleeping Sickness) and BSE (Mad Cow Disease) in a community which made a habit of eating the dead. They're mostly the cause of some long standing taboos in most communities that cannibalism causes illness, so the name Corpse Starch is possibly a slang term or reference to something like hydroponic potatoes grown in nutrients derived from rendered dead people. Raising plants overall is also fairly efficient, especially if you've had a magos-biologus mess with them to improve growth rates and size.

I love the hard sci-fi approach people have here, and I'm all for it. The explanations will boil down to "secret STC design" or the warp did it at some stage, but as long as you stop in time it's all good! gran_risa.gif

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Well, the IH also says that Civilian Relief Rations are made from "any organic material available" ... gran_risa.gif

Basically, yeah, I guess it might be even better to deal with this in a "don't ask, don't tell" way. Even though the name is known, the issues with preserving knowledge in 40k could mean that few people can tell for sure what's really inside, many might simply not want to know, and many of those who would have access to this kind of information are the people who aren't dependent on it but have the money to buy better food.

On the other hand, I did enjoy the "Soylent Green" movie a lot and maintain its idea would be suitably grimdark for the setting, emphasizing the desolation and bleakness of the 41st millennium in its hopelessly overcrowded population centers (specifically hive or forge worlds), where, for many people, the only other source of protein would be vermin, and bodies have to be disposed of somehow. I'm also fairly sure that richer people take more food than they would need and the food products that get imported from agri-worlds do not get distributed equally, creating the need for something else that can be created locally.

I also like Attila's version, though.

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 If i remember correctly there is a mention in one of the Gaunt's Ghosts books (think it was armour of contemped) that the administratum did render down human remains as rations to feed the troopers.

Plus I could se the administratum doing something like this. In the middle of a military option they run out of supplies yet have this continuing supply of meat wouldn't logic say to use it?

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It was His Last Command and the cooks responsible ended up having the inside of the mess tent decorated with their brains by a certain Commissar. They also insinuate that this had happened previously and the people responsible had met a similar fate.

Lots of references in the Necromunda fluff to sump farmers and alge pools being harvested... and including bodies - although I think this was more in the 'swimming with the fishies' sense than for actual food production.

Watched the 2nd episode of 'The Pacific' last night and they had exactly what I expect corpse starch rations to be. Brown bricks. Keep forever, need to be wet to be eaten and no one wants to know whats in them. Literally the last resort when your starving. Second only to pot noodles.

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Here's another option if you don't like the cannibalism concept:-

"For centuries, the Adeptus Munitorum has issued Imperial Guardsmen across the Galaxy with emergency supply rations. These high energy, protein-based provisions come in a variety of forms, from tinned meat of a sickly grey pallor, through chemically self-heating soup canteens to foil-wrapped chewy brown bars that leave an unmentionable coating of fat across the roof of the mouth. The common denominators linking these products are the utterly appalling taste, and the "CS" stamp emblazoned on the crates that contain them.

Over the years, many grim jokes have sprung up around the origin of the meat contained within these rations. While dull and worthy Munitorum clerks will insist that "CS" is simply an alphanumaric code for "Combat Sustenance," the gallows humour of the average guardsman demands an acronym more suited to the ration's taste. As a result, a variety of alternatives have been suggested, including "Cat Sh*t," "Crap Sandwich," "Crippling Scurvy" and "Consumption=Suicide." 

In the Calixis Sector, the acronym "Corpse Starch" has gained particular popularity. So widespread is this grim moniker that it has found its way onto official documentation, and indeed it has become ingrained within the mindset of many inhabitants of the Sector. Some guardsmen joke that given the way the taste of CS rations is, if anything, actually getting worse, suppliers must have taken the name to heart, and are sourcing meat from the local morgues..."     

 

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Lightbringer said:

Here's another option if you don't like the cannibalism concept:-

"For centuries, the Adeptus Munitorum has issued Imperial Guardsmen across the Galaxy with emergency supply rations. These high energy, protein-based provisions come in a variety of forms, from tinned meat of a sickly grey pallor, through chemically self-heating soup canteens to foil-wrapped chewy brown bars that leave an unmentionable coating of fat across the roof of the mouth. The common denominators linking these products are the utterly appalling taste, and the "CS" stamp emblazoned on the crates that contain them.

Over the years, many grim jokes have sprung up around the origin of the meat contained within these rations. While dull and worthy Munitorum clerks will insist that "CS" is simply an alphanumaric code for "Combat Sustenance," the gallows humour of the average guardsman demands an acronym more suited to the ration's taste. As a result, a variety of alternatives have been suggested, including "Cat Sh*t," "Crap Sandwich," "Crippling Scurvy" and "Consumption=Suicide." 

In the Calixis Sector, the acronym "Corpse Starch" has gained particular popularity. So widespread is this grim moniker that it has found its way onto official documentation, and indeed it has become ingrained within the mindset of many inhabitants of the Sector. Some guardsmen joke that given the way the taste of CS rations is, if anything, actually getting worse, suppliers must have taken the name to heart, and are sourcing meat from the local morgues..."     

 

Where'd you find that?

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korjik said:

Lightbringer said:

 

Here's another option if you don't like the cannibalism concept:-

"For centuries, the Adeptus Munitorum has issued Imperial Guardsmen across the Galaxy with emergency supply rations. These high energy, protein-based provisions come in a variety of forms, from tinned meat of a sickly grey pallor, through chemically self-heating soup canteens to foil-wrapped chewy brown bars that leave an unmentionable coating of fat across the roof of the mouth. The common denominators linking these products are the utterly appalling taste, and the "CS" stamp emblazoned on the crates that contain them.

Over the years, many grim jokes have sprung up around the origin of the meat contained within these rations. While dull and worthy Munitorum clerks will insist that "CS" is simply an alphanumaric code for "Combat Sustenance," the gallows humour of the average guardsman demands an acronym more suited to the ration's taste. As a result, a variety of alternatives have been suggested, including "Cat Sh*t," "Crap Sandwich," "Crippling Scurvy" and "Consumption=Suicide." 

In the Calixis Sector, the acronym "Corpse Starch" has gained particular popularity. So widespread is this grim moniker that it has found its way onto official documentation, and indeed it has become ingrained within the mindset of many inhabitants of the Sector. Some guardsmen joke that given the way the taste of CS rations is, if anything, actually getting worse, suppliers must have taken the name to heart, and are sourcing meat from the local morgues..."     

 

 

 

Where'd you find that?

Every so often, Lightbringer pulls something like that out of thin air. I've yet to see an instance where the results weren't awesome.

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 Someone, please, take a map of the Calixis sector. Notice the icon list in the top rigth corner. One of the icons is Grave planet or something (I don´t have the book at the moment), and the fluff is plaged with that references. In that planets, the rich one get family mausoleums, and the poor take the crematoria, but, by no means, any corpse are reprocesed into food, 

 

 

To eat human flesh, is to invoke Chaos in the worst. 

 

(In the introductory adventure Edge of Darkness,

 

 

 

 

the PC eat without knowledge some grind human grind and procesed meat... Corruption point everyone...)

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