Couldn't you also poison food and then eat the poisoned food.. I've never done the zombie thing, but it makes sense.
Poison is 100x easier to come across then "healing" items
Poison food JUST poisons you, it doesn't grant any additional healing or food buffs, so there's really no reason to use it over a poison potion.
I personally like to Zombie my whole party and then spam Poison Cloud arrows everywhere. They are ridiculously plentiful since they are made from just arrowheads, shafts, and an ooze barrel. The cloud then AoE heals my party while damaging any enemies that move through it, and if I need to heal faster I just move a bit because every step in poison heals me.
With that strategy I aim for Fire Resist ASAP so that when the clouds inevitably detonate it won't harm, and may even heal me further.