You could have achieved the same result, if you had reduced flat food from buildings. Working tiles would be more important, if you would gain less passiv food from buildings or other sources. This was done to some extend, but only for late game buildings, which make no sense, cause you need now much much more food in lategame than in early game, which is kinda double punishing. Besides this, increasing growth cost leads to the complete opposite we were talking about in the threads. Not the food in the early game is the problem, its the more and more losing worth of food and growth in the late game. Now you reach the point even faster, where it is no longer worthwhile to invest food in population, because all sorts of other sources contribute more than a new citizen. In my last Germany game, all the citizens, specialists, and buildings in my cities accounted for just 30% of my global science output. 40% came from instant yields. All normal citizens were only contributing 9.5% of the science I gain per turn, while the instant usage of an scientist is able to create 500% of the science I gain per turn. So, what do you think make more sense, getting a new citizen in each of my 30 citizen cities to increase the science per turn by 0,3%. Or invest the food into specialist to use more specialits?