The word food brings to mind the kitchen, where all the food we eat is prepared and cooked. But food is so much more than that. Food is any substance eaten to supply nutrition to an organism. Food is generally of animal, plant or fungi origin, and normally contains various important nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, or iron, that are necessary for the growth and maintenance of an animal or plant. Plants, however, also need food to survive.
Most of the people think that eating only one food is sufficient for a human being. But food provides the energy, which keeps the body alive. There are 4 food groups. Animal foods, which includes milk, eggs, fish, meat and poultry, represent the major part of the diet. Plant foods, which includes vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts, are also included in this group.
In modern times, the term food refers not only to those living things that we eat but also to any chemical substance used to prepare food, which is taken into the human body for use. In fact, all living things feed on food energy. The food energy is obtained from the sun, water, air and plants. We obtain all food energy from plant food. When plants grow, they absorb light energy, which is transferred to the food by photosynthesis, and in return they release food energy, which is required for the growth and development of living things. During the night, the stored food energy is converted into physical energy needed for living things.
In addition to animal and plant foods, there are many other substances that are needed for living things. Some of these substances are in the form of living cells, which are generally composed of single cells. These cells come in different forms such as plasma, bile, sweat, blood, nerves and other cells. When food is digested, it is mixed with enzymes, which are made by living cells, to form a food substance known as secondary food. This food material is further divided into various components, which are further combined into primary food, which forms the basis of our diet.
A major part of the total food intake is food usually eaten raw. Meat is the basic raw food, which is eaten by man. Cereals, legumes, and vegetables are another type of raw food. Water is the most important and needed substance in the body, which is partly soluble in water. Some examples of soluble water are: sweat, tears, urine and blood.
To conclude, what is food meant by the term? It is food that is eaten and is part of our daily diet. It can consist of both animal and plant foods, although plant foods are much more important to obtain vitamins and minerals needed by the body. It is therefore very important to know what you can and cannot eat, this knowledge will allow you to be better informed on how to make the most of your food intake.