Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at email@example.com).
My buddy Stephen Gerding (Senior CBR Editor here) asked me this one a while back - can Green Lanterns create food with their Green Lantern rings that they could then eat?
The answer really seems to have been resolved years ago in Green Lantern #69 (one of the last issues before Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams revamped the series), in a story by Green Lantern creators John Broome and Gil Kane, where Hal Jordan was stuck in a stasis field that was causing him tremendous pain. He used his ring to create a highly effective painkiller...
Now, obviously, for the painkiller to work, Hal would have had to absorb the medicine into his body. It is pretty strange to believe that Hal Jordan knows how to create the medicine in a painkiller, but this is one of those areas where we just have to trust that the ring itself is aiding Hal in some way to make sure that he could create something that Hal wouldn't normally know how to make. After all, we've seen Hal (and other Green Lanterns) make all sorts of other elaborate ring constructs over the years, it shouldn't be too hard to imagine that the ring has been helping them out over the years.
Anyhow, if the ring can construct a painkiller that could be absorbed into the body, then it certainly stands to reason that the ring could also create a food item that would nourish the body. Of course, since the ring constructs disappear when the Green Lantern stops concentrating on them, it definitely does open up the question of "If you created a hamburger, ate it and then got the nourishment from it and then you stopped concentrating and it disappeared, what does that mean if you've already received the nutrients from it?"
How can a Green Lantern actually derive nutrients from food created by his/her ring?