I just started playing Rust about a week ago, been playing on one of the official servers with no PvP, well sort of no PvP. The catch is that when you log off your character remains in that spot and sleeps, and although it's a no PvP server, it does allow you to be killed while sleeping.
I think they need to make some changes quickly to make it less appealing for higher level players to kill lower level players. I think food is definitely an issue there. Animals are the only food source and are often quite scarce. There are no tiers when it comes to food, it's all the same, so if a higher level player is hungry that gives them a reason to spend the time to take down a low level person's door and kill them in their sleep for their food. If there was some kind of a tiered system for food offering different values, then maybe they wouldn't bother since they know they can already get better food items themselves than they can by taking it from a low level player. Adding edible plants I think would be a good idea, and have them of course be less valuable as food than meat. In addition, plant foods make perfect sense in a survival situation as you work on better gear to take down animals.
As it stands right now, the only thing I can think of that might allow me to log off and be at least more safe would be a long play session focused on getting enough resources to build a metal door or entirely metal structure. Metal doors can only be destroyed by explosives, so I would hope that all the mid level players won't have those, cutting down the number of players that actually can break into my hut while I sleep.