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Is there any reason to continue exploiting food production once my planet has reached maximum population?

Are there any benefits besides more people faster? Once the population of a system is full, should I scrap them to save money? I'm about 2/3rds of the way through a game, and I have 5 different food related system improvements I can build. I don't see the point, but I figure there must be one or there wouldn't be that many options available.

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