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Zombie all you can be

There are around 40 edible things in Minecraft, and some of them are… let’s just say ickier than others. For me, spider eyes, all the raw meats, poisonous potatoes and suspicious stew all fall in this category for me. But the yuckiest of all is our block of the week: Rotten Flesh.

Rotten Flesh was added to Minecraft in the 1.8 version, which also added melons, steak, ender pearls, experience orbs, and Endermen. This version solved a weird problem: that zombies dropped feathers, since feathers were needed to make arrows.

Then, chickens were added for another, more reasonable source of feathers, and for a while, zombies still dropped them too. Eventually, though, zombies were given something else to drop. “What should they drop?” the Minecraft team asked themselves. “Well, what are zombies even made of?” That’s right – rotten flesh.

Getting your hands on some of that sweet, sweet rotten flesh usually means defeating zombies. But it’s also dropped by drowned, husks, zombie horses, zombie villagers, Zoglins and Zombified Piglins. Basically everything in the zombie family tree. You can also obtain rotten flesh through fishing, in chests, and from tamed cats that sometimes will bring it to you. Lovely.

If you’re a committed zombie-slayer, then you’ll eventually start building up a backlog of rotten flesh in your chests and might start to wonder what you should do with it.

For starters, you might consider eating it – but this is probably a bad idea. While it does restore two chunks of hunger, it has a large chance of giving you the hunger debuff which causes the hunger bar to drop rapidly. On the other hand, you can only get the hunger debuff once, so if you repeatedly cram rotten flesh into your mouth then you can sometimes outpace the hunger drain. Don’t try this at home, kids.

Wolves have much stronger stomachs than humans do, so they can eat rotten flesh just fine. In fact they love it so much that it can be used to breed tamed wolves, heal their wounds, and even make baby wolves grow up faster.

Finally, if all else fails then novice-level cleric villagers will sometimes buy 32 rotten flesh for one emerald. It’s not entirely clear why they want it. Maybe they have a pack of wolves to feed? Or maybe something more sinister is going on...

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