Food

 

The main sources of food

When you come back from school, or after playing or when you are preparing for exams, food may be the first thing that can come to your mind. It is also said that ‘we are what we eat’, which means food is an essential subject to understand in detail.

Have you wondered, Where does our food come from?

The two sources of food are broadly classified as plants and animals and their related products. Plants are a source of a wide variety of nutrients required to keep the human body in good working condition. Humans consume everything from fruits, flowers and even the stem of some plants. Leaves and stem-like palak, coriander leaves, etc; roots of some plants like carrots, beetroot, etc and seeds like wheat, rice, etc. Plant-based foods also contain protein, but are “incomplete” sources of protein, meaning they contain only some of the essential amino acids.

Animal products on the other hand are used as food directly or indirectly. One can consume the muscles or organs of the animals which are the direct method or rely on its products like egg, milk, honey and so on. Animal-based foods are the main sources of complete protein and include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk and cheese.

Plant and Animal sources of food Products

Have you heard people asking if you are a vegetarian or a non vegetarian? What does it mean?

The sources of food are broadly classified into two groups, plants and animals and their related products

Plants are a source of a wide variety of nutrients required to keep the human body in perfect working condition. Humans consume everything from fruits, flowers and even the stem of some plants. Leaves and stem-like lettuce, celery, etc; roots of some plants like carrots, beetroot, etc and seeds like wheat, rice, etc. All food come from plants, even the animals depend on plants. Hence, the source of all food in this world is plants, directly or indirectly. The reason one is advised to consume fruits and vegetables on a daily basis is because it is a source of immense nutrients. In fact, the majority of foods consumed by human beings are seed-based foods. Edible seeds include cereals (corn, wheat, rice, et cetera), legumes (beans, peas, lentils, et cetera), and nuts. Oilseeds are often pressed to produce rich oils - sunflower, flaxseed, rapeseed (including canola oil), and sesame.

The food chain is composed of exactly these animals starting with organisms that use the energy of the sun to the top of the chain, the apex at which organisms are basically predators and eat other producers.

 

Understanding Animals based on their feeding habits

Plants make their own food through photosynthesis, but animals do not make their own food. Some animals eat plants. Other animals eat the plant-eating animals. Some others eat both plants and animals. Hence, all animals depend on plants for food.

Herbivorous animals:

Some animals eat only on plants, fruits , grass and roots. Some feed on grams and nuts. These are plant-eating animals  are called herbivores. They do not eat other animals. Some plant-eating animals are cows, horses, goats, elephants, etc.

Carnivorous animals:

Some animals eat other animals. They are called carnivores. They do not eat plants. Some flesh-eating animals are cat family animals like lions, tigers. wolves, etc.

Omnivorous animals

Some animals eat both plants as well as the flesh of other animals. These animals are called omnivores. Some animals that eat both are cats, dogs, bears etc. Humans also eat meat, seafood like fish, prawns, food from poultry like eggs as well as food from farms like vegetables, fruits and nuts. So, we humans  are also omnivores.