I don't know if a long intro is actually required for this one. Minecraft needs more food options, period. Let's get into the different options. Note that not all of these features have to be added together, and can be altered to fit vanilla Minecraft.
These are food items that are completely new.
If there is cocoa, why not vanilla? You get it by smelting a blue orchid.
(In real life, vanilla comes from a type of orchid)
Putting an egg into a furnace makes a cooked egg. Same saturation as a potato, but only restores 2 hunger.
Yielded from the Mentha bush. When eaten plain, restores saturation but not hunger. It also relieves the Hunger effect.
(Mint leaves are commonly used to cure gastric problems.)
Putting cocoa beans, sugar, and a bucket of milk in the crafting table yields 3 chocolates and an empty bucket. They each restore the same as an apple.
Raw Cob of Corn
A corn cob. When eaten raw, restores 2 hunger points with a small amount of saturation. Can be cooked in a furnace. Yielded from a Corn crop.
Cooked Cob of Corn
Restores 4 hunger points and slightly less saturation than a potato.
The texture is a yellowish-orange version of the slimeball texture. Can be eaten and have the same effects as sugar when eaten, but with only a 10% chance of sickness. Can also be used as an alternative to slimeballs in every crafting recipe except slime blocks. Honey can be used to craft a hive, with one Honey in the middle of the table, four Wax in every cardinal direction, and four paper in the diagonals.
A wheat crop has a 15% chance of yielding Ergot Wheat when the crop is planted within 5 blocks of a mushroom, mycelium, or a giant mushroom block. Ergot Wheat displays as "Wheat" in the inventory, but with slight black spots on the texture. Wheat stored with Ergot Wheat will also become Ergot Wheat after a moderate amount of time. Can be crafted into Ergot Bread. Villagers will avoid picking up an infected stalk. When at least 1 infected wheat is yielded, villagers will attempt to destroy any offending blocks.
Ergot Bread is Bread infested with ergot. Ergot bread shows as "Bread" in the inventory, but has slight dark spots on the texture. When eaten, inflicts poison and nausea for 15 seconds. Otherwise, behaves the same as bread. Villagers can craft Ergot Bread, but will drop it immediately and not consume it.
(Splash) Potion of Purity (II)
An awkward potion with a Bucket of Milk added in a brewing stand. Potions of Purity are white. When a level 1 potion is applied, splash or regular, it clears all potion effects. When brewed to level two with glowstone dust, cures normally incurable effects such as extinguishing fire, and only removes negative effects. Cannot be extended.
(Splash) Potion of Retention (II)
An Awkward Potion with a Wither Skull added in a brewing stand. Potions of Retention are a deep purple. When applied, inflicts a "Retention" effect. When you die while under this effect, you retain your drops but lose the normal amount of xp. A normal potion lasts for 60 seconds. When brewed to level 2, you do not lose xp upon death. When extended, lasts for 1 and a half minutes. The death message while under this effect is "[Normal death message], but was retained". (Example: Derborgus3333 blew up, but was retained.) These potions are very useful for escaping the End, Nether, or just teleporting back to your spawn point.
(Splash) Potion of Death Reversal (II)
A Potion of Retention with a Fermented Spider Eye added in a brewing stand. Potions of Death Reversal are yellow. When a level 1 potion is applied, splash or regular, it applies a "Death Reversal" effect, that temporarily prevents death. If you reach 0 hearts, you drop all your items but do not die, and you are free to pick them back up. You do not lose experience. However, when this effect expires and you are at 0 hearts, you will die instantly, with the death message "[Normal death message] whilst trying to thwart death", making it imperative to heal yourself while in limbo. Level 1 potions apply this effect for 60 seconds. When brewed to level two, prevents items being dropped upon "death". When extended, lasts for 1 and a half minutes. Note that this can be paired with a Potion of Retention for a very potent combination, both preventing death for a limited time, preventing items from dropping while in limbo, and making the consequence for limbo less severe.
Bucket of Ice Cream
Put a bucket of milk, one block of ice, and sugar in a shapeless recipe. Same saturation as an apple and restores 8 hunger unmodified.
Additional ingredients can be added to ice cream while being crafted, up to 6. They each have their own contributions. Ingredients are listed in the NBT Data below the name, like Banners and Fireworks.
Vanilla - Adds 2 hunger points.
Cocoa - Adds 1 hunger point and a small amount of saturation.
Mint - Adds a moderate amount of saturation.
Fruit Item - Adds respective hunger/saturation/effects to ice cream, but hunger amount and effect length are doubled from if the item was eaten separately. (Bucket of Ice Cream with a Golden Apple added would be quite potent.)
Items that are not new but they have more functionality.
You can eat sugar. Gives you Speed 1 for 15 seconds at first, restores 1 hunger point, but has a 20% chance of giving you hunger and nausea for 10 seconds instead. If you eat a large amount of sugar, intensifies the effects, both good and bad.
You can now consume nether wart. Restores 2 hunger points and gives you Fire Resistance and Resistance for 60 seconds, but has a 10% chance of lighting you on fire instead of applying fire resistance, and a 5% chance of inflicting Wither for 10 seconds.
Applies night vision for 15 seconds and restores the same as a carrot.
Can now be eaten. Heals one heart instantly and restores the same as a melon slice.
Items and blocks that are not food items, but can be used to get them.
A new tree. Made out of an oak tree body, with Apple Tree Leaves. Has a respective sapling. Found in forested biomes along with Oak Trees.
Apple Tree Leaves
The leaves of an apple tree. They have 2 states, "empty" and "full". When empty, are similar in texture as oak leaves. When full, has large, bright red apples visible. If right clicked when "full", reverts to "empty" and drops 1-3 apples. "Empty" leaves can grow back to full in approximately 2 Minecraft days. Can be sped up with Bone Meal, or slowed down with Wither Bone Meal.
Apple Tree Sapling
The sapling of the Apple Tree. Similar in appearance to an Oak Sapling, but with small red dots in the leaves.
Shares a model with the dragon egg. Spawns attached to a leaf block or log block in a forest biome. Has a particle effect akin to that of wandering bees. When the beehive starts to be broken, the particle effect grows thicker and starts damaging the offending party. If the player moves away from the beehive, the player will have the particle effect and be damaged 1 health point at a time at a rate that is inversely proportionate to distance. The damage and particle effect will stop completely at a distance of 5 blocks. If the offending party goes back within the radius of effect within 30 seconds of the attack, the damage will resume. Hives can be placed and moved as normal within the inventory. Hives can be right clicked to yield 1-2 honey. After right clicked, the hive requires a recharge time. The recharge time can be decreased when the hive is within 10 blocks of flowers. Flowers within this range have the "bee" particle effect that moves to the hive from the flowers and vice versa. If the hive is mined with any tool but shears, it will not drop a hive. Instead, it will drop 2-4 Paper, 1-3 Wax, and 1-2 Honey. Hives can rarely spawn on trees grown by the player upon generation, making the resource renewable. Can also be crafted.
Wax would have a white amorphous texture. Can be crafted into Candles.
Candles would be crafted with one Wax in the center of the table, one string in the top center of the table, and three iron ingots across the bottom. Candles are an alternative to torches. They can be placed like torches and give the same luminescence, in addition to being carried. When in the player's active slot, illuminates the area around the player. The light level when held is slightly stronger than a redstone torch, but with a relatively small radius.
(This would be the alternative to the fabled Lantern, a carry-able light source never implemented into minecraft)
A new crop. Mentha is a mint bush. It can be found growing in temperate biomes. It can grow on grass as long as the grass block is next to water, like sugar cane, or it can be grown on farmland and hydrated farmland. It grows in 3 stages, and progresses through each stage slightly faster than sugar cane grows when hydrated. When not hydrated, it grows much slower. When fully grown, it can be broken and drops 1-4 Mint and 0-2 Mentha Seeds. If broken prematurely, it drops 1 Mentha Seed.]
Seeds for the mentha plant.
A new crop. Can be found in villages. Grows at the same pace as wheat. Drops 1-3 Cob of Corn, 0-2 Corn Seeds, and 1-2 Corn Husks. If broken prematurely, it drops 1 Corn Seed.
Seeds for the Corn Crop.
Can be crafted into 4 string. No other use.
(Peasants used to make bedding with corn husks. Each Corn husk item is equal to one wool block, which can be crafted with 4 string)
50% of the bones that Wither Skeletons drop are Wither Bones. Wither Bones can be crafted into 3 Wither Bone Meal.
Wither Bone Meal
Wither bone meal has the opposite effect of bone meal, reversing the growth of crops. Crops at their first stage will be broken. However, crops that are "un-grown" will have twice to three times the seed drops as a normal immature crop, making it useful for getting a large volume of seeds quickly. When used, emits the unhappy villager particle effect.
That's it for now. If I think of anything else, this page will be updated. Suggest changes in the comments, please.
Meh, most of these are unfitting such as mint and Ergot.
I said that not all of these had to be used. Most can be used independently of one another. The point of this post was to a bunch of item/block/mechanic ideas related to consumables down and see what sticks.