Pikachu loves ketchup. Meowth eats chocolate. Snubbull can’t get enough of rice balls.
There’s a wide variety of what we’ve seen Pokémon eat. But Pikachu doesn’t completely sustain itself on ketchup, and Meowth probably eats something besides a pound of chocolate. The role of food in Pokémon is congratulatory, usually a reward for a job well done. With such a richly detailed picture of the Pokémon universe, it’s impossible to not ask yourself: Do people eat Pokémon? Do they eat each other?
What do Pokémon eat?
In the anime and games, food is mostly treated as a way to increase stats, affection or heal Pokémon. It ranges from natural foods like apples and berries to man-made treats like Poké Puffs (colorful, delectable-looking pastries) and Poffins (tiny rolls). There’s very little mention of whether or not Pokémon eat each other, or if humans eat Pokémon. Instead, the series heavily emphasizes treats and baked goods for satiating our non-human friends. But this isn’t enough: We have to go deeper.
In the early episodes of the anime, Brock introduces his homemade Pokémon food to Ash and the others. It’s a secret recipe, so it’s unclear what the ingredients are, but it proves to be almost irresistible to Pokémon. In “A Mudkip Mission,” Brock uses it to lure and befriend a Mudkip before finally catching it.
All trainers have different preferences when it comes to raising their Pokémon. Even though we never see Ash make anything for Pikachu, Brock isn’t the only trainer to routinely make food for his Pokémon. In the wild, it’s common for most Pokémon to follow an omnivorous diet. Fruits and vegetables are often shown in the series, but flying-type Pokémon like Spearow are known to prey on insects. Pidgeotto eat Caterpie, Ekans eat Pidgey eggs — an entire food chain exists in this world.
Do humans eat Pokémon?
In the Pokémon universe, it’s widely accepted to consume foods that contain Pokémon byproducts. Moomoo milk from Miltank is popular among children and adults, Chansey eggs are said to be more nutritious and delicious, dried Slowpoke tails are commonly used in Alolan stews; the list goes on. That said, it’s not unfathomable that Pokémon themselves are fair game in the kitchen. If Miltank make milk that we consume, can we not eat Miltank steak? If the Pokémon world is just like ours, with the obvious exception of Pokémon, are humans still at the top of the food chain?
Let’s not kid ourselves. Humans definitely eat Pokémon. There’s a megamart in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon that sells Slowpoke Tail Quiche and Peppered Slowpoke Tail on Salad. In the show, Ash and Brock had a vivid food fantasy about cooking a Magikarp. When asked about Farfetch’d in episode 49, the Pokédex states, “A wild duck Pokémon. Farfetch’d makes a delicious meal, especially when cooked with leek. Because of this, Farfetch’d is nearly extinct.”
According to the official Pokédex, Farfetch’d is 2’07” and weighs 33.1 lbs. That’s about as heavy as a Thanksgiving turkey for a large family, over 15 people or so. Think about the sheer volume of meat that renders from a single Farfetch’d. A single person could sustain themselves in the wild for weeks, or months if you can ration it.
Pokémon is not just for kids, and the manga does go to some pretty dark places. In a Kotaku interview, series director Junichi Masuda, even he doesn’t know for sure what kind of meat people most eat in the Pokémon universe. “I’m actually curious about that as well,” he adds. It’s not unrealistic to think about how they’d incorporate themselves into the ecosystem and the food chain. It turns out there are some amazing opportunities to be had, considering 806 types exist.