FOOD, WATER and AIR… The Consumables
The three limiting elements for life in the Fleet is Food, Water and Air. Living space, though at a premium, is still manageable.
Producing the huge quantities of food, water and air needed to support the people on a daily basis, stretches the Fleet’s resources to the limit.
Air and Water
Though starships have internal systems to recycle air and water, these systems were designed to support the ship’s regular crew, rated passengers and an extra margin, usually 20 to 25% to allow for unexpected passengers and system failures. The ships of the Fleet are loaded far beyond these capacities and though the recycling facilities have been tweaked, tuned, expanded and supplemented, the Fleet must still seek regular replenishment of these consumables. Air and water are derived by the tankers from cometary ice and refined (along with many other essential substances) from the chemical soups of gas giants.
At regular intervals the ships dock with the appropriate tankers to receive fresh supplies of air and water and to pass used quantities back to the tankers for purification. Despite the best efforts of engineers and techs, there is still a significant percentage of loss in the system that can only be made up from outside sources.
Drinking & Sanitary water allowance is 700 ounces per Sectarie/person or 548,000 gallons per Sectarie for the entire Fleet per day. In order to maintain an adequate supply there needs to be a minimum of three sectarie worth of drinking water available at all times (Allowing time for Recycling and processing of each gallon used.) An additional secton (12 days) of drinking water is maintained for emergency replacement.
Drinking water is not the only use of water in the Fleet. The Agro ships are enormous consumers of fresh water, and many other nutrient chemicals, and vast amounts are used in the Industrial ships.
This is the hardest demand to meet. If it were not for the accelerated growth techniques, forced hydroponic nutrients and the use of complex synthetic nutritional supplements, most of the population would starve.
Basic food requirements of the Fleet per Sectarie (1 Earth Day)
Cereals 159,000lbs of cereals & grains
Fruit & Vegetables 792,000lbs of vegetables, 100,000 gallons of juice or 212,000 pieces of fruit
Protein & Dairy 12,900 gallons of milk, 20,640lbs of cheese, 26,470lbs of meat or fish, 241,000lbs of beans
The Guaranteed Allowance (GA) is based on the nutritional MINIMUM that the medical techs have calculated is needed to keep the citizens healthy. The food served on the GA is heavily processed and laced with nutritional supplements and vitamins. It is prepackaged, pre-measured and precooked. Requiring the galleys and vending machines on the various ships only to heat or cool as appropriate.
The form of most GA food is in stews, soups, mixed cooked vegetables, pasta and sauces, pre-made veggie or meat patties, various nutritional drinks, prepared sandwiches, processed cheeses, frozen dairy products, dried fruit candies and mushies (cakes, pastries, cookies etc)
Guaranteed Allowance per Sectarie per person
2 servings of vegetables about 16 ounces of vegetables
2 servings of fruits or juice 1 medium piece of fruit = 3/4 cup of juice,
6 servings of bread, cereal, rice, & pasta = about 38 ounces of cereal/grains. One serving of grains is about 1 slice of bread, 1 ounce of ready-to-eat cereal, 1/2 cup cooked rice or pasta,
2 servings of meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs & nuts or about 6.4 ounces of meat/fish or 24 ounces of beans
2 servings of milk, yogurt & cheese = about 5 ounces of cheese or 25 ounces of milk
90% of the food raised on the Agro Ships goes into the processing system where it is prepared, supplemented, modified and stretched to extend its shelf life and feed the most people possible. This is the food of the GA. It is what is served in the vending machines and the ship galleys and kitchens. Though sustaining, nutritious and adequate, it is also bland and boring. Most citizens try and get a ‘real meal’ when ever possible. These can be had, for a price, in the Clubs and Restaurants on the various ships. Or, with the right connection, through the Black Market.
The Government permits and encourages the Agro ships to market 10% of the food production to the general population. The vast majority of this 10% is sold to Clubs and Restaurants. Some is sold to private individuals. The food is usually the best of the harvest, the finest cuts and the choicest pieces. The processing plants don’t care if the apple has some bruising. The Chefs do.
The Black Market thrives by skimming off a portion of the better produce and selling it to private individuals at somewhat lower rates then the regular, taxed prices. A whole network of people, from agro techs and processing operators, to shuttle pilots, ship officers and even security officers, aid in the movement of these illicit goods.
Different Agro ships have different specialties. Some are exclusively producers, others do some processing, a few even turn out finished products. This is especially true for the alcoholic beverages of Ambrosia and beer.
Food, Drinks, Alcoholic Beverages and other staples of the Fleet
Ambrosia is a fermented alcoholic beverage that is made from various fruits, honeys and sugars. It starts its fermentation process in large vats and then is transferred, at the proper time, to smaller and smaller containers where various finishing techniques are applied to adjust flavor, acidity, sweetness and alcohol levels. Final fermentation generally occurs in the bottle in which it is packaged for sale and serving. There are a number of variations in Ambrosia type and quality and prices vary considerably.
Even the ‘cheapest’ variety of legal Ambrosia is a step up in quality from the best of the bootleg varieties.
Most consider the Ambrosia produced by Robber as the best in the Fleet. Though he oversees production of a variety of types of Ambrosia he only puts his name on varieties of Good or better.
(In Earth terms we are talking about various wines, sherries, brandies and champagnes.)
Costs per 32oz bottle
Cheap Quality = 10 cubits
Average Quality = 15 cubits
Good Quality = 25 cubits (includes most champagne varieties)
Very Good Quality = 40 cubits (includes some sherry and brandy grades )
Excellent! = 80 cubits
Known by a number of names, Equis, (from a kick like a…) Cortilla, (from the dance) Buzzer, (generally homemade varieties that employ potatoes and/or flour) Made from various grains, malts and starch and sugar combinations put through a distillation process. Aging occurs with the better types, but is unheard of with Buzzer.
Sold in 32oz bottles. Cost varies by quality, potency and type.
Equis 80 = 15 cubits
Equis 100 = 20 cubits
Cortilla 80 = 25 cubits
Cortilla 100 = 30 cubits
Actually raw buzzer or a type of distilled alcohol cut with water or in some cases juice.
The Colonials enjoy a variety of Beers, some made from traditional grains and malts, others from more exotic materials like Krell and Tuliran Bulbs. Sold in 16oz and 32oz bottles. Hops beers are more expensive then the other kinds. All prices vary based on quality. The different ‘brands’ identify which Agro ship made it.
Traneus Krell Beer 1 cubit/16oz
Pisceus Krell Beer 2 cubit/16oz
Pisceus Tuliran Beer 4 cubits/16oz
Traneus Hops Beer 5 cubits/16oz
Demeter Hops Beer 7 cubits/16oz
The Colonial equivalent of coffee. True kava lovers are appalled at the stuff the Fleet passes as kava but for most its all there is so they suffer through it. Cost = .25 cubits per 8oz
Real Kava can be found in the Fleet. There are kava plants growing on several Agro ships, but the quantity is small and the corresponding price is high. Served in 4oz cups, brewed like Espresso, it costs 2 cubits per serving.
Various flavored, non alcoholic beverages. Most are carbonated to some degree and are popular with children and many adults. Used as mixers for Buzzer and similar substances. Most are vitamin enhanced.
Cost = .50 cubits per 8oz
A variety of fruit and vegetable juices and mixes are available. Cost = .50 to 1 cubit per 8oz
A mix of vitamins, minerals, soy, dairy and other things best left unmentioned. Highly nutritious and of varying flavors. People either love them or hate them. Cost = .75 cubits per 8oz
Meats, Fish and Eggs
Beef, Pork, and Chicken are the three most common meats produced on the Agro ships. Due to the high consumption of bio mass needed to raise the livestock, the space requirements and time commitment (even using accelerated growth techniques) very little meat, in proportion to overall food requirements are actually raised. Still, in order to maintain cryogenic breeding stocks and to maintain certain levels of protein in the diet, as well as to provide food variety, the effort is made.
Fish, crustaceans and shellfish actually form the largest part of the Fleet’s protein diet. The base of this is tiny shrimp like krill that are raised in vast nutrient saturated vats in the Agro ships converted from tankers. These are strained by the ton and processed into the basic protein patty served through out the Fleet. These krill also provide the food base for larger fish raised in the Agro Tanks. Shalt are small fingerling fish that school through the tanks. Rezzels are a large, fast growing, freshwater fish that can reach enormous sizes feeding on the krill and shalt in the tanks.
Mussels grow on the walls of the vats and are harvested regularly. A variety of crab, known as ‘Snappers’ and a type of lobster called ‘Blue Backs’ (due to their color before cooking.) also live in the vats.
Literally every ounce of flesh a slaughtered animal is processed and used in some capacity. There is absolutely no waste in the process. The bulk of any animal is processed and supplemented to serve as protein and flavoring base for the ‘meat patties’ that are served to the bulk of the population. Select cuts, chops and pieces are set aside for sale and use in their natural form. These pieces command very high prices, especially if they are fresh and unfrozen. Generally, mussels, snappers, blue backs and some shalt are sold whole for the restaurant trade in the Fleet. Since the seafood is easier to raise, prices tend to be somewhat lower then for beef, pork and chicken.
A GA Meat serving is 4 oz. serving These are compressed patties of ground up meat with various supplements and fillers. Cost runs from 4 cubits to 8 cubits per serving (fish is the cheapest, then ‘meat’ which is a blend of pork, poultry etc. A patty that is all beef or pork etc is the most expensive.)
A ‘cut’ of Meat is the real thing. It is not ground, processed, adulterated or flavored. Quality is generally good to excellent. The cheaper meats wind up in the processors.
A 4oz Cut of Fish (Rezzel or Shalt) runs 8 to 12 cubits
An 8oz Blue Back, or 8oz of Snapper meat or mussels, runs 10 to 12 cubits
A 4oz Cut of Chicken runs 10 to 15 cubits
A 4oz Cut of Pork runs 12 to 18 cubits
A 4oz cut of Beef runs 15 to 20 cubits.
Prices are for raw meat. A prepared meal in a Club or restaurant will have a serving of 8 to 12 ounces and will also have vegetables or pasta etc (at an extra cost)
Eggs are not really eggs, though there is some egg in them. They are more technically an ‘egg substitute’ Served scrambled or as an omelet it is a popular food item. When mixed with meat, cheese or various vegetable garnishes its not that bad. A serving is 4oz. A plain serving of eggs (equals two eggs) is 4 cubits, add 1 cubit for garnish, 2 cubits for cheese or meat. A ‘Real’ Egg sells for 5 cubits a piece.
Fruits, Vegetables & Grains
Virtually every type of fruit and vegetable known is grown in some quantity in the Agro ships. The bulk of production goes to the processing plants where it is chopped, stewed, steamed, pulped, juiced and canned, dried, frozen or dehydrated as needed. Still a portion of the produce is available fresh and even in its natural state. Prices for fresh fruit and raw vegetables, though high, are much lower then meat or fish. A large number of people in the Fleet are strictly vegetarian. This has less to do with ethical considerations as it does with economy.
A small GA Krell salad is typically 2 cubits, a medium 3 and a large one is 4. GA salads are always ‘prepackaged’ and usually ‘pre-wilted.’
A serving of GA pasta, as a side is .50 cubits while an entire meal is 1 cubit.
A serving of GA vegetables costs 1 cubit.
All vegetable GA platters will run from 3 to 6 cubits depending on how fresh and processed the veggies are.
When dining out out in a Club or restaurant the prices are typically double the GA allowance but the quality is far better and the vegetables are usually fresh.
A small salad is typically 4 cubits, a medium 6 and a large one is 8.
A serving of pasta, as a side is 1 cubit while an entire meal is 3 cubits.
A serving of Fresh vegetables costs 2 cubit.
All vegetable platters will run from 6 to 12 cubits.
Krell, the plant everyone loves to hate. Krell is probably the most common plant grown in the Fleet. A Juicy, leafy plant that is fast growing and very nutritious, though rather bland in taste.
It has a horrible smell when cooked, though the odor dissipates quickly, leading to many jokes about the smells coming from the Galleys and other places.
It can be eaten raw as a salad,cooked like spinach, pulped for beverages, dehydrated and processed into a flour or processed into nutritional supplements and flavored to match almost any food. It is the main ingredient in most of the processed foods in the Fleet and serves to feed the livestock as well as being the primary ingredient of the nutrients added to the water vats to feed the krill.
Krell’s prevalence in almost every food item has lead to a level of disgust amongst many in the Fleet. It is an essential that is irreplaceable, but it is disliked by most. Virtually no one elects to eat a Krell salad so they are never found in Clubs or Restaraunts!
Breads and cereals are a major part of the Fleet diet. It is served up in many forms, processed breakfast cereals (hot and cold) pastries, cakes, ‘mushies’, biscuits, breads, rolls, crackers and cookies. The quality of the product is generally measured by the percentage of Krell Flour that is mixed into the cereal based flour. Those products with no K flour (or very little) command the highest prices, and are never found on the regular menu in the ships galleys and vending machines.
Mushies: A general term for a filled pastry or pie. Mushies can be a sweet/dessert item or filled with vegetables and meats as a main dinner course. To a large degree they fill the food niche of sandwiches in Colonial society. Small mushies are generally sweets, medium sized can be sweet or ‘food’ filled. Large mushies are generally meal items.
Distribution & Sale
GA Vending machines dispense basic nutritional items and snacks. They are located throughout the Fleet and on almost any deck that has living space. On some ships, like the Transports and SkyBuses, they are a major source of food service. Payment is made via the Fleet CTC and, in some machines, cash. Or, for those on the GA, the value is counted against their allowance.
Foods are usually served wrapped and sealed, in the case of mushies and other finger foods, or in pre filled 6 ounce serving bowls that are heated, as needed, by the vending machine.
Common Food items found in Vending Machines or Galley service.
Mushie, small: Fruit or chocolate filled with icings and other trimmings. Cost = .25 cubits each
Mushie, medium: Sweet filled or meal grade. Cost = .50 to .75 cubits each
Mushie, large: Meal grade. Fillings vary. Cost = 1 cubit
Pouch of Dried/candied Fruit: A popular snack. Cost = 1 cubit
Candy: Wide variety of types .50 to 1 cubit per serving
Meat Stick: Sausage type blend. Cost = .75 cubit
Cheese Sticks: String type cheese. Cost = 1 cubit
Cup of Soup or Stew: Served hot. Usually a vegetable base. Cost = 1 cubit
Cup of Pasta: Generally hot but there are some popular cold noodle dishes. Cost = 1 cubit
Typically an 8 oz drink in a sealed container. Prices range from a quarter cubit to one cubit.
Kava: Hot or cold. Colonial coffee. Quality from the machines is considered horrible by most, still it is a popular drink. Cost = .25 cubits
Fizzers: Served cold. There are a number of varieties available. Cost = .50 cubits
Juices: Served cold. Varieties vary but those juices of one type of fruit are more expensive then the blends. Cost = .50 to 1 cubit
Protein Drinks: Generally cold, but a few varieties lend themselves to being warmed. They are filling enough to serve as a light meal for many people. Cost = .75 cubits
Where the crew and their famlies and passengers have the bulk of their meals. Food servings are generally larger then Vending machines and there is a greater variety, though this is often tailored to the time of day. For example, mushies of egg (substitute) meat and cheese are a popular morning meal. However, since life on a ship is in three different shifts and it almost always morning to someone, a variety is always available.
Beverage selections are the same as Vending machines, but larger servings, 16oz, are standard. No alcohol is served in the Galleys.
An actual GA meal, served in a Galley, usually includes at least three servings, meat, vegetables and a starch and a beverage. Typically a fish or meat patty, steamed or cooked vegetables and a pasta or bread. Cost runs anywhere from 6 to 12 cubits. It is possible to eat for less, 3 to 4 cubits, but the selections are limited.
Clubs & Restaurants
A meal in a club or restaurant can run, at the low end for pasta and salad and non alcoholic beverage, from 12 cubits to a high of 80 or more cubits for a 12oz steak with salad and side (not counting Ambrosia) per person. Gratuity is extra.