Food is what people, plants and animals eat to live. Every organism needs energy to carry on with the process of living which comes from food. Food usually comes from animals and plants. It is eaten by living things to provide energy and nutrition. Food contains the nutrition that people and animals need to be healthy. The consumption of food is normally enjoyable to humans.
Food for humans is mostly made through farming or gardening. It includes animal and vegetable sources. Some people refuse to eat food from animal origin, like meat, eggs, and products with milk in them. Not eating meat is called vegetarianism. Not eating or using any animal products is called veganism.
|Basic foods consumed by humans|
|Plant source||Animal source|
Food produced by farmers or gardeners can be changed by industrial processes (the food industry). Processed food usually contains several natural ingredients and food additives (such as preservatives, antioxidants, emulsifiers, flavor enhancers). For example, bread is processed food.
Many people do not grow their own food. They have to buy food that was grown by someone else. People buy most of their food in shops or markets. But some people still grow most or all of their own food.
Other countries have their own way of eating food. An example of an ethnic food is Mexican food.
Production of food [change | change source]
Originally, people got food as hunter-gatherers. The agricultural revolution changed that. Farmers grew crops including those invented and improved by selective breeding. These improvements, for example the invention of maize, allowed feeding more people, and further improvements gave it a better taste.
Food shortage has been a big problem throughout history. Many people do not have enough money to buy the food that they need. Bad weather or other problems sometimes destroy the growing food in one part of the world. When people do not have enough food, we say that they are hungry. If they do not eat enough food for a long time, they will become sick and die from starvation. In areas where many people do not have enough food, we say that there is famine there.
If people do not eat the right foods, they can become sick.
- If people do not eat enough protein, they get the disease called kwashiorkor.
- If they do not eat enough vitamin B1 (thiamine), they get the disease called beriberi.
- If they do not eat enough vitamin C, they get the disease called scurvy.
- If children do not eat enough vitamin D, they get the disease called rickets.
People may often have a variety of eating disorders that cause them to either eat too much, or not be able to eat certain things or amounts. Common diseases like Coeliac disease or food allergies cause people to experience ill effects from consuming certain foods that are normally safe. If people eat too much food, they can become overweight or obese. This causes numerous health problems. On the other hand, eating too little food, from lack of access or anorexia could cause malnutrition. Therefore, people have to balance the amount, the nutrition, and the type of food to be healthy.
Food in religions[change | change source]
Many cultures or religions have food taboos. That means they have rules what people should not eat, or how the food has to be prepared. Examples of religious food rules are the Kashrut of Judaism and the Halal of Islam, that say that pig meat cannot be eaten. In Hinduism, eating beef is not allowed. Some Christians are vegetarian (someone who does not eat meat) because of their religious beliefs. For example, Seventh-day Adventist Church recommends vegetarianism.
In addition, sometime beliefs do not relate to the religion but belong to the culture. For example, some people pay respect to Guān Yīn mothergod and those followers will not consume "beef" as they believe that her father has a shape of the cow.
References[change | change source]
- "Food:Definition". The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on 27 July 2017. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
- Bowers, Elizabeth Shimer. "5 Essential Nutrients to Maximize Your Health". EverydayHealth.com. Archived from the original on 2019-08-01. Retrieved 2019-08-01.
- Benisek, Alexandra. "Processed Foods: What You Should Know". WebMD. Retrieved 2023-09-07.
- Bawa, A. S.; Anilakumar, K. R. (2012-12-19). "Genetically modified foods: safety, risks and public concerns—a review". Journal of Food Science and Technology. 50 (6): 1035–1046. doi:10.1007/s13197-012-0899-1. ISSN 0022-1155. PMC 3791249. PMID 24426015.