In a recent comment, a player asked about the uses of YOUTH GRASS and INDIGO GRASS in Rune Factory 2. There are many items both in the original Rune Factory and its sequel that have minor effects that may pass unnoticed by a player unless his/her character has very low stats. Many of these items are ingredients in Recipes, making them useful throughout the game. Others are most useful only at the start, when your character has not been able to raise his stats yet.
Some items have a permanent effect on your character. Others produce nothing more than a temporary effect. YOUTH GRASS is an item that has nothing more than a temporary effect.
YOUTH GRASS raises Magic Attack and Intelligence both by 2 points for 30 seconds. In the original Rune Factory, it gave 5% Protection against Poison, Seal and Paralysis for the same amount of time. I expect it does the same in RF2, although it would be difficult to SEE that! Only the change in Stats actually is displayed in the game. The duration of the effect is represented by the little red apple icon. When the apple icon disappears, the effect dissipates.
MENTAL SUPPLEMENT, on the other hand, is an item that has a permanent effect on your character's stats, increasing Magic Attack and Intelligence each by 1 point.
INDIGO GRASS, an item found both in the wilds and at the Clinic, has an effect on your HP. It gives a five point boost to your health. This is not reflected as 5 full points of HP but it does increase your HP.
Most food items in fact will effect HP and RP to some extent and may affect other Stats temporarily, as long as the little red apple icon remains visible.
For example, FRIED EGGS, an item that can be purchased from the Pumpkin General Store in the 1st and 2nd Generations or made in your own kitchen in the 2nd, has the following effects:
HP +10, RP +10
Raises STR temporarily by 9 points.
In other words, the effect in terms of HP and RP is permanent only in the sense that these increases will last until your character uses HP or RP points, but the increase in Strength will vanish when the little red apple icon disappears.
Incidentally, Orland's special Birthday Gift Item, Fried Sunsquid, packs a real punch, giving +20 HP, +5 RP, + 15 ATK, +15 STR.
I had suspected that the items Douglas gives for lunch would be particularly efficacious, but in fact their effects are extremely varied. For example, CHEESE BREAD appears to give 0 HP and 0 RP. I could see no effects on any Stats either.
OMELET, a simple recipe that requires nothing more than MILK and EGG, gives:
+10 HP +15 RP, +12 ATK, +12 STR.
In the 2nd Generation, edible items that provide the highest increase in HP are not as important as those providing high increases in RP for only one reason: your character can use RP to restore HP using the Cure Spell. In the 1st Generation, when your character cannot perform restorative magic, high HP increase is as important as high RP increases in edible items. In other words, the OMELET is to be preferred over FRIED EGGS even more in the 2nd Generation than in the 1st. Furthermore, the need for restoration of RP in order to be able to use the Inquisitive Waltz is another reason to choose edible items with high RP increase values in the 2nd Generation.
Here's a little video I made about items and their effects on your character's Energy and Stats: