The developers expressed a desire to make food more interesting and create a reason to have and use the variety of foods available. This is an understandable goal, as players moved through the game previously, they consumed what was the best available. As it is now, the developers have made the food a binary choice between stamina and health. In the end, this changes nothing as to the usefulness of food regarding gameplay and play style. Players will still eat the most useful food as they become available in the same manner that was done before H and H. The difference being the binary choice now forcing players to either eat slightly more health or stamina-based foods.
The dev’s could have tapped into secondary buffs for foods and food types to allow players to create food combinations that would fit a variety of play styles. Buffs such as stamina and health regeneration are just the start. Different foods could add defensive buffs or offensive buffs. Some could even reduce stamina drain. The possibilities are endless.
The developers seem hung up on the idea of food only functioning as a source of health and stamina and this is holding it back. If they added secondary buffs, they could change how food increases stamina and health. I am not sure, but maybe something like a nutrition gauge. If a player eats a variety of food types, then their health and stamina pool are maximized. I was thinking of the monster hunter chef recipes while writing this.
I love the game and have over 150 hours before the update, but honestly, I am not loving the current system as I feel like it really doesn’t make the game better in any real meaningful way.