Food Materials And Sources

Table of Contents

There is an abundance in the variety of food we eat. We never seem to go out of stock with food resources. But where does all this food come from? From farms to our kitchens, food goes through several processes and is finally made available to us.

Food is the most essential and nutritious substance we provide to our bodies. It acts as a fuel, which charges our body to perform daily chores. Our food is usually made up of 2 or more ingredients. It consists of nutrients such as fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals essential for the functioning of our body.

We obtain food from plants and animals, the food chain gives a brief idea of this. Plants are the basic producers. The entire food chain is dependent on plants. Plants provide food in the form of vegetables and fruits which are consumed directly. Humans and animals depend on the stored food of the plant. Larger animals depend on smaller animals for their food, and so on.

Let us have a detailed look at the food materials and sources from where these food materials are obtained.

Also Read: Food Variety

Food Materials and Sources

Food is mainly obtained from plants and animals.

Food Materials Obtained From Plants

Green plants are the primary source of food. They provide us with food in the form of fruits, vegetables, cereals, pulses, nuts, oils, etc. Different parts of a plant that can be eaten raw or cooked are given below.

Edible Plant Materials and their Sources

  • Carrot, radish, turnip and beetroot are the edible roots of the plants.
  • Sugarcane, coriander, potato, and ginger are the edible stems of the plant.
  • Spinach, cabbage, and curry leaves are edible leaves of the plant.
  • Flowers of cauliflower and pumpkin are edible flowers.
  • Mango, guava, apple, and pear, are some of the fruits obtained from the plants.
  • Pulses, grains, and oilseeds are the edible seeds of the plant.

We also obtain flour from plants which are extensively used across the baking industry to bake cakes, pastries, bread, pasta, biscuits etc. Food materials obtained from plants are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. They also contain dietary fibres which add bulk to our food necessary for digestion.

Food Materials Obtained from Animals

Animals are another important source of food for us. The food products obtained from animals are rich in proteins and vitamins and other essential nutrients. Important staples like milk from cows, goats and buffaloes are processed and consumed every day. This milk is further used to make curd, cheese, butter, cottage cheese, clarified butter etc. Other important staples include chicken, fish, eggs and honey.

Edible Animal Materials and their Sources

  • Milk is obtained from cows, buffaloes, goats and camels. This milk is rich in proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
  • Birds like hens, ducks and turkey provide us with eggs that are highly rich in proteins.
  • The flesh of animals known as meat is also consumed by humans.
  • Fish, prawns and crabs are consumed in most of the coastal regions of the world.
  • Honey bees convert the nectar of the flower into honey that is used as food.
  • Paneer, cheese, cream and ghee are all made from milk obtained from cows and buffaloes.

Most of this food comes from farmed animals in a controlled environment to be devoid of any harmful substances.

Animals and their Food

Herbivorous animals obtain their food from plants. For eg., cows, buffaloes, goats, deer, etc.

Animals that eat other animals are called carnivores, these include tigers, lions, jackals, etc.

Some animals feed both on plants and animals. These are omnivores and include humans.

Organisms such as microbes (bacteria, fungi) feed on the decaying matter of animals and plants and are called decomposers. They are present in the air, water and soil.

Also Read: Food production

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Related links:

Minerals In Food
Food Production

Frequently Asked Questions on Food Materials And Sources


What are the products obtained from honey bees?

Honey bee provides honey, bees wax and royal jelly. The culturing of honey bees is known as apiculture.


Are insects a good source of food?

Insects are very good sources of protein. Insects like adult termites, grasshoppers and crickets are used as food.


Can microorganisms be consumed as food?

In single celled protein, the cells are consumed as food. The cells include microorganisms, algae and yeast.

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