In "All Our Yesterdays" Spock says something like, "Arrrghhh, I've eaten animal flesh," with much regret. It indicated that traveling that far back in time messed up his Vulcan mindset. So I assume he's normally either vegetarian or all-out vegan. McCoy flashes smuggled Klingon ale at Kirk from time to time. There's one where the evil side of Kirk drinks some kind of liquor. There's one where they feed a bunch of kids ice cream. But does anyone have any more info about the crews diets? Does Kirk ever eat a pizza, a steak, a fish? Is there any other indication about Vulcan diets?

  • 1
    Out of universe: cinematic food is harder to do than drinks. Drinks you pour some colored water in a cup. But food needs to sit there under lights for hours and hours. So it makes sense on TOS that they don't show much food when budgets were tighter. (Also, it was the 50s-60s when everyone thought food of the future would be magic pills.) So in universe, you can imagine that replicators were not as advanced as in later series and could only handle the most basic edible food cubes. – Aaron Harun Oct 23 at 10:19
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    However, food appears frequently on DS9 / Voyager. Keep in mind one of the main characters on voyager was a cook and the captain of DS9 is shown as the son of a cook/restaurateur. – Aaron Harun Oct 23 at 10:21
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    Marshmallows appear to be part of their diet. – Simon Richter Oct 23 at 11:38
up vote 14 down vote accepted

Solid food was not shown nearly as frequently on the original Star Trek series as drinks. I remembered there was a dinner party scene in "Space Seed" with Khan hosted by the Enterprise's senior officers. However, I checked, and the cast are only shown drinking, not eating in that episode.

Khan makes a toast.

What they are drinking might or might not be Romulan ale.

A previous question (What is being eaten by Kirk and company in this scene?) asked what Kirk and McCoy were eating in this picture, from "By Any Other Name."

Food

The novelization did not describe these comestibles as anything more specific than "food." The unappetizing nature of these "food" items inspired this meme:

Meme

However, it was evidently considered high-quality food, good enough to serve at a diplomatic reception in "Journey to Babel."

Diplomatic reception

In addition to various drinks and the strange colored balls, you can see bowls of what look like translucent rock crystals. However, toward the left there is also a tray, bearing what are clearly some ordinary Earth fruit. So there was some of what we would consider regular food to be had.

Finally, there was another dinner party—this time with Klingons—onboard the Enterprise in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and it sure looks like Kirk was eating a mix or Earthly (and possibly alien) vegetables. There's definitely a tomato in there.

Real Romulan ale this time

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    Is Uhura vaping? 😂 – Lightness Races in Orbit Oct 23 at 9:54
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    @LightnessRacesinOrbit I see the joke, but, no, she's just drinking her wine. I checked using the HD stream on Netflix. – trlkly Oct 23 at 11:13
  • Definitely drinking wine (or whatever that blue liquid is). What she's holding is the same thing that's at all the other place settings – Kevin Oct 23 at 12:34
  • In "Charlie X", Kirk says "On Earth today, it's Thanksgiving. If the crew has to eat synthetic meat loaf, I want it to look like turkey." So, that suggests they couldn't eat any Earth food they wanted. In "And The Children Shall Lead" there is a scene where the kids get different flavors of ice cream from the food dispensers, though. – Hypnosifl Oct 31 at 10:58
  • @Hypno, pretty funny the whole earth celebrates thxgiving in 2364. – Joe C Nov 6 at 3:27

You ask specifically about Kirk and Spock, but I believe for this question we can consider food habits from other shows as well as they are all the same universe and some are not that far on in-universe timeline from each other.

Vulcans are vegeterians, possibly vegans

It is a part of their anti-violence philosophy. This is stated more than once by T'Pol in "Enterprise" series. In one episode (sorry, can't find the name) when ordering junk food on Earth she asks:

Does the Fiesta salad contain animal products?

Which means she is probably vegan.

Or T'Pol again:

You humans claim to be enlightened, yet you still consume the flesh of animals... You remain impulsive carnivores

Also Vulcan food is rather tasteless from a human point of view, which is probably also refers to their culture of being more productive, less emotional about what you do (consume).

We usually see that non-human members of the crew have possibilities to follow their cultural preferences in food (T'Pol keeps being vegan, Seven eats simple, B'elanna gets ritual Klingon dishes when needed) and we are already introduced to Plomeek soup as one of the favorite dishes of Spock in TOS. So probably Spock eats whatever correspond with his tastes and food habits.

Here is some Plomeek soup to keep Spock happy:)

Plomeek Soup

Human crew members prefer same human food and drinks as we do

Apart from specific occasions when it is not available, crew members on Enterprise eat normal food - meat, fish, pies, vegetables, cakes etc. Mostly it is produced by food replicators from some kind of replicator gel. This makes food taste reasonable, but not great. Still, it's nutrition is sufficient to serve as a constant food supply.

The point here is that their food habits are the same as we are used to. Even if made from a gel supplement, people still consider that food should look and taste like "normal" food.

This is shown in details in "Voyager". Captain Janeway is coffee addict, Seven of Nine prefers tea, though she is repeatedly advised by other characters to replicate some variety of food to enjoy the taste (as apparently is what others do), Kes organizes the whole process of groving their own vegetables to cook (for real food, as being said, tastes better then replicated one). And it's the whole big story with Neelix being a cook to provide the crew with variety of home-made dishes. So again, we see that food habits of the team are pretty normal - noone expects them to eat a nutrition paste from tubes or unidentifiable food supplements.

Mind, that "Voyager" takes place not much later after TOS, so presumably Star fleet members used to normal food throughout the whole Star Trek timeline.

They drink alcohol

There are a lot of occasions in all the shows when ship crew drink alcohol, I will not even try to refer them all. It's apparently not restricted (unless you're on duty, for sure).

So what about those strange colored cubes in TOS?

In-Universe: we know that they have replicators (called synthesizers in TOS) that can produce more than just colored cubes. We see Kirk orders chicken sandwich and coffee in episode Trouble with Tribbles. So they actually eat normal food apart from those cubes.

One could think the replicators aka synthesizers are yet not developed enough to provide all those variety of food we see in later shows, but it can not be the case. We see they already use replicators on Discovery (in Star Trek: Discovery) and there are no funny food supplements. And Discovery takes place 10 years before TOS, so the technology should have been properly developed by then.

Discovery Food

Out-of-universe: in TOS they probably tried to create some futuristic vibe using this simplified food bites. Also it is widely known they were low on budget on set.

In conclusion

So in general on a Star Fleet ship Vulcan eat vulcan food, human eat human food. Even in TOS it is indicated that there are possibilities on Enterprise to provide those for Kirk and Spock. The question about the colored cubes remains open (maybe they just taste good?), but I'm afraid that out-of-universe explanation is appear to be correct here.

  • Not sure that Discovery can be used to explain the technology for TOS, given that there is a tremendous amount of discrepancy between those two shows. I mean, we can't really use their hologram communication technology to answer a question about TOS's main viewscreen. – Thunderforge Oct 23 at 20:17
  • @Thunderforge I see what you mean, but until we have specifically TOS explanation, I believe we can reference other shows (even Discovery) to understand how the whole Universe work in general. – Shana Tar Oct 24 at 7:49

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