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Let's say a wizard of second level has gotten themselves out in the middle of nowhere with no sources of food. Could they use minor conjuration to summon a loaf of bread, or a cookie? Or would taking a bite out of the food cause it to take "damage" ending the duration?

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Sisyphean Food

You can make it, but you won't be nourished

Minor Conjuration from the Wizard subclass School of Conjuration states:

conjure up an inanimate object in your hand or on the ground in an unoccupied space that you can see within 10 feet of you...The object disappears after 1 hour, when you use this feature again, or if it takes or deals any damage.

As you had stated, taking a bite of it would definitely constitute'taking damage' as it is no longer in it's original state. Once 'damaged', the object disappears which would include whatever you put in your mouth.

Also note that the Conjured object is clearly magical when observed (thanks @SirCinnamon!):

The object is visibly magical, radiating dim light out to 5 feet.

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    \$\begingroup\$ So I could use it to summon trick food that disappears as soon as someone tries to eat it... Excellent. \$\endgroup\$ – Noelle B Jun 22 '18 at 14:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NoelleB That seems completely legitimate - Tricksy hobbitsses! \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jun 22 '18 at 14:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NoelleB Keep in mind the food would be "visibly magical" according to the restrictions on minor conjuration \$\endgroup\$ – Sir Cinnamon Jun 22 '18 at 15:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SirCinnamon I would rule that either the light is very hard to notice in regular light settings, or that a glowing cookie is even more enticing to those less wise. \$\endgroup\$ – Noelle B Jun 22 '18 at 15:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch trying to hold 5e up to simulationist requirements will likely lead to frustration very true, but I think also that it is left up to the DM (and to a certain extent, the players) how far down that rabbit hole they wish to tread. Some people find enjoyment in that, and that's their prerogative, but the rules try to be general and vague enough that groups can fill in as little or as much as they desire. In this case it is unnecessary because the spell prevents a lot of shenanigans by simply having it cease to exist once it interacts with destructive forces. \$\endgroup\$ – cpcodes Jun 22 '18 at 19:02

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