I agree with watabou in this situation, the game is set in a dungeon, something meant to kill you, and if it wasn't harsh whatsoever it doesn't feel very dungeon-y. Anyways, yes, there is strategy involved with the hunger system as you have to manage what you want to take on to the next level of the dungeon, such as you could take that charm card or glaive, but instead it might be a better choice to stack up on food lying about in case there is a lack of it ahead.
In my experience (about 10 tries,) I have literally only died from food. I pick up any food I can and use it only when I absolutely must. I don't know if I'm just unlucky, but there seems to just be not enough food. Either way I personally found it getting old and unfair. Like I said it's a great game, but for me this kinda made me lose interest. I'm not saying it should be easier, but I feel like in a dungeon game,I should die from traps or monsters at least half the time.