There is 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 body. 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, ginger are the edible stems of the plant.
- Spinach, cabbage, curry leaves are an important source of calcium.
- Flowers of cauliflower and pumpkin are edible flowers.
- Mango, guava, apple, pear, are some of the fruits obtained from the plants.
- Pulses, grains, oilseeds are the edible seeds of the plant.
We also obtain flour from plants which is 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, 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, honey.
Edible Animal Materials and their Sources
- Milk is obtained from cows, buffaloes, goats and camel. This milk is rich in proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
- Birds like hen, duck, etc provide us with eggs that are highly rich in proteins.
- The flesh of animals known as meat is also consumed by humans.
- Fish, prawns, 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, ghee are all made from milk obtained from cows and buffaloes.
Most of this food comes from farmed animals under a controlled environment to be devoid of any harmful substances.
Animals and their Food
Herbivorous animals obtain their food from the 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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