No two ways about it, food in the zone is crap. However, its only marginally worse than the crap most of us were eating beforehand, so it doesn't seem like that much of a dip. That doesn't mean I don't miss flavor, however.
This is one of those rare things that can't be blamed on citizens these days. Yes, people will blame everything from their luck at cards to their lack of new Paris fashion trends and male pattern baldness on the Citizens - but this no one can pin on them.
Nano-vac worked for humans, to some extent it worked for livestock - but plants were something entirely different. So as you can imagine, food blights and crop failures brought by the altered weather of the thirties and forties wreaked havoc. More expensive travel due to the lack of oil powering the great container ships and the slow rate of replacing the merchant marine did not help. Even something as seemingly common as black pepper went up by a factor of five or ten times the old price. Cinnamon - anyone under thirty hasn't really tasted cinnamon. Not unless their parents owned fortune five-hundred companies.
We still had artificial flavors of course, but whose mother whipped up fresh "4-Hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde"with just a commercial hand mixer each morning? Natural herbs are available these days, and if you're in the right parts of the country hot peppers are always good.
We're eating a lot less textured soy and algae protein these days. Mixed blessing - artificial food was at least nutritionally balanced. Organic and free range is great - but it doesn't change the fact you need to eat the right proportions of it. Most people aren't dong that and multi-viatamins aren't readily available. So we're avoiding the dog food but not the malnutrition it was meant to stave off.
Fish has become a lot more common. Mostly because its not cute. Yes, a lot of immigrants off of farms moved into arcologies, and Edges but well there are not cattle in those places, and elsewhere you don't have people used to raising buffalo and the like. I don't know where all the cows went to, but for that I probably will blame the citizens. Not for the mercury poisoning though. Yes, we've tried to clean up the rivers, and industry has stopped, but things haven't cleaned up overnight. Or I could just be paranoid. But really - was safeguarding the fish farms the first priority of the government when the dead rose?
At least the "nothing but canned food"stage of the reanimate uprising is over.