Food and drink

From ArticleWorld

The term Food is used to describe any item suitable for consumption by living beings. It may be in the form of solids or liquids. Food provides the necessary energy essential for survival. Mainly, food is of two types : of plant origin (vegetarian) and of animal origin (non – vegetarian).

Based on eating habits, living beings can be sub-divided into thee main groups :

  1. Herbivorous – eats food from plant origin only. Examples : cow, horse
  2. Carnivorous – flesh eating animals. Examples : lion, tiger
  3. Omnivorous – eats food of both plant and animal origin. Human beings belong to this group.

Food production and acquisition

Conventionally, food is obtained by methods of farming, fishing and hunting.

Food from Plants :

  • Seeds – This can be of various types : Cereals like barley, maize, oats, rice and wheat; legumes like lentils, beans and peas; nuts like almonds, cashew nuts and pine nuts; oilseeds like sesame, hemp and sunflower.
  • Vegetables – They are many varieties of vegetables : root vegetables like potatoes and turnips; leafy vegetables like spinach and kale; sea vegetables like kombu and dulse; stem vegetables like asparagus and bamboo shoots; fruit vegetables like pumpkin and tomato; inflorescence vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli; fruits like apples, bananas, mangoes; herbs and spices like tamarind, turmeric and thyme.

Food from Animals :

Food of animal origin include dairy products (milk), eggs, insects (honey), meat (mutton, beef, ham, veal), offal (blood), poultry (chicken, turkey, duck, quail, pigeon, goose), seafood (shrimps, prawns, salmon) and snails.

Neither Plant nor Animal :

This group comprises of food items like salt, mushrooms, water, seaweed and Blue Green Algae.

Some of the above food items can be eaten raw while others need to be cooked. Reasons extend to include safety and taste. Preparation includes methods like washing, cutting, addition of spices, pressure cooking, baking etc.

Manufactured food

Traditionally, processing of food mainly involved salting, pickling, curing, curdling, drying and smoking. Today, a mind – boggling variety of food process and brands have emerged. Some examples of manufactured food are :

  • Bread
  • Cakes and cookies
  • Cheese
  • Jam and Jelly
  • Pasta
  • Pizza
  • Sandwiches
  • Salads
  • Sauce
  • Sausage
  • Drinks like beer, wine, squash, soft drinks
  • Ice cream

Food safety

Eating stale or rotten food may result in food poisoning caused by the bacteria, viruses, toxins or prions in the food.

Incorrect eating habits can lead to in sufficiency of essential nutrients. This may give rise to a number of diseases :

  • Deficiency of Vitamin A caused blindness
  • Vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy
  • Iodine deficiency is present in 13% of the people
  • Lack of protein causes maramus and kwashiorkor in children