the crates of food are everywhere, and they don’t run away or fight back.Straight from the spawn on foundry, through the relay room are 8 crates with 1-3 food each, and they average around 16 food, enough to reach stage 2. turn left from there and there are the mammoth bird spawns, they fight back, but there is almost 15 food in just mammoth birds, and then there are the grubs and beetles that roam the area, the latter usually stuck on roofs for easy kills.
On mines straight across the hub, and to the left there is a very vertical area, mammoth birds are abundant here, easily feeding you to stage 2, the grotto straight through where you spawn is a great fighting ground, but all the wildlife in the area is venom hounds or tyrants, which makes eating problematic, striders do spawn here, but the predators in the area make sure there are never more than a couple. the open pit area, across and right of the spawn has food crates at the entrance to the hub, 4, averaging around 9 food, as well as megamouths and a large number of striders, their populations un ravaged.
Each place has food concentrations, moving between them is important, and the amount of food in the main combat areas for the monster are relatively lack luster, making the eating during a fight thing problematic.
The area just outside the spawn on foundry is a place you never, EVER go as the monster, it is extremely low, has almost no food, no crates, and only like 3-4 striders at best, has no cover, is dominated by extremely high buildings on 3 sides, the edge of the map on the other, you go down there if you want to die, and there is no other reason to go there, even if the elite strider, megamouth, and obsidian grub all spawn there it is simply not worth it, the hunters can see and shoot you a mile away, so you are not getting those perks.
slag town is a nice close combat area, but has little food, so a good choice for a fight, but not such a good starting route, although if you can take down the megamouths scattered around it can work, as can leaving them and hoping they slow the hunters.
The actual foundry area is a good place to fight, and has those food crates, but they don’t come back, so you use them you lose them, the connected factory has an abundance of food crates as well, but is an easy trap at the start, having only 2 ways out, through the spawn, and through the open area I already told you never to pass through, it is better to eat the dome and fight in the factory than to try and escape through that death trap. Avoid at all costs unless you have a commanding lead, or are forced through the open. Overall it isn’t a bad stash to use for stage 3 fights, as you can get to the relay quickly, and the food will always be there.
The grotto on mines is also an area to avoid early, it is good late game, the elite tyrant and venom hound are always there, and so it is a good stop to make before a stage 3 fight, but it has no food value, unless you feel like killing the 3 normal tyrants before the hunters travel all if 30 meters to find you, and escaping is troublesome, it has a very narrow entrance area, with all exits within dome distance of each other, you do not ever want to be caught here unready to fight.
The open pit mine is a good place to start, wide, multiple entrances, high ground to drain jetpack if you want to take an early fight, food crates that are easy armor right away, and lots of striders spawn here meaning you can leave and come back to a restored food cache. Great to feed at any point in the game.
The closed mine is a good starting area as well, but is not a good long term investment to use first, go there if you know you can close the game out early, it has a huge amount of food, crates, mammoth birds, has nice elevation changes to favor the monster, is relatively enclosed and easy to hide in, but the kicker is that the food does not respawn, once it’s gone the only things that respawn here are the 2-3 obsidian beetles, which means once you’ve been through the whole area is a dangerous trap later.
The ideal path is open pit > closed mine > grotto, however you can take any route, the grotto is a nice hazard for the hunters, poisoning and slowing their pace massively, and rushing stage 2 in the closed mine is viable by the time the hunters drop. choices and advantages abound.