Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, suchas carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism's cells in an effort to produce energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth.
Historically, peoplesecured food through two methods: hunting and gathering, and agriculture. Today, most of the food energy consumed by the world population is supplied by the food industry.
See also: Herbs andspices
Many plants or plant parts are eaten as food. There are around 2,000 plant species which are cultivated for food, and many have several distinct cultivars.
Seeds of plants are a good sourceof food for animals, including humans, because they contain the nutrients necessary for the plant's initial growth, including many healthful fats, such as Omega fats. In fact, the majority of foodconsumed by human beings are seed-based foods. Edible seeds include cereals (maize, wheat, rice, et cetera), legumes (beans, peas, lentils, et cetera), and nuts. Oilseeds are often pressed to produce richoils - sunflower, flaxseed, rapeseed (including canola oil), sesame, et cetera.
Fruits are the ripened ovaries of plants, including the seeds within. Many plants have evolved fruits that areattractive as a food source to animals, so that animals will eat the fruits and excrete the seeds some distance away. Fruits, therefore, make up a significant part of the diets of most cultures. Somebotanical fruits, such as tomatoes, pumpkins, and eggplants, are eaten as vegetables. (For more information, see list of fruits.)
Vegetables are a second type of plant matter that is commonly eaten asfood. These include root vegetables (potatoes and carrots), bulbs (onion family), leaf vegetables (spinach and lettuce), stem vegetables (bamboo shoots and asparagus), and inflorescence...
Leer documento completo
Regístrate para leer el documento completo.