Final Fantasy XIV's foods and medicines have always been a major part of the game -- after all, both Culinarians and Alchemists focus on producing precisely those items. Unfortunately, the items have been awkward to make, unwieldy to use, and frequently unclear in their effects. That's why the game's next major patch is bringing along a major overhaul to the system, giving the two categories of item clear roles and more transparent effects.
While the full list of item changes is not unveiled in the preview, the general philosophy is laid out in detail. Food items provide long-term buffs (including a small experience gain) with lesser overall values and a very short cooldown between uses. Medicines, on the other hand, provide a short-term buff with a long cooldown, but the buff is significantly larger. These changes will also tie into a revamp of several recipes to account for ingredient locations and overall synthesis difficulty. It's something to look forward to in the game's next major patch, and it promises to make your character's eating habits much easier to manage.