Food is essential for all the living organisms. Plants prepare their own food and store in their special organs as fruits, tubers, seeds etc. Animals and human beings depend on this stored food of plant. Bigger animals depend on smaller animals for their food. Human beings also depend on animals for their food.
Importance of food
• Food provides energy.
• Food is needed for growth.
• Food helps in maintaining good health.
• Food maintains body functions.
• Food is necessary to heal wounds.
Food comprises of ingredients. An ingredient is a part of mixture that is added to prepare a dish. Ingredients vary with different types of food. Ingredients can be obtained from plant sources and animal sources.
Food comprises of essential nutrients namely, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Carbohydrates and fats are called as energy providing food. Proteins are called as body-building food. Vitamins and minerals are called as protective food.
Plant food products
Plant food products are the different types of food that we get from plants. Green plants are the primary source of food. Plants provide us with vegetables, fruits, cereals, pulses, spices, nuts, oils etc.
a) Roots: We eat plant roots in the form of carrot, turnip, radish and beetroot.
Edible parts of the plant
Almost all parts of the plants such as leaves, stems, roots, fruits, and seeds are considered to be edible parts.
b) Stem: We eat stems of some plants as in sugarcane, coriander. One form of stem tuber is potato. We also eat underground stem in the form of ginger.
c) Leaves: Many green leaves are the sources of calcium. Some leaves that we eat are spinach, cabbage, amaranthus, curry leaves etc. Onion is also a form leaf which is underground.
d) Flowers: Flowers of pumpkin, cauliflower are edible flowers. Some types of roses are also edible.
e) Fruits: We get edible fruits from many plants. Fruits can be fleshy fruits or dry fruits. e.g. mango, guava, orange, apple, pear, grapes, banana etc. Almonds, cashew nut are used as nuts.
Some fruits are used as vegetables. Some of them are brinjal, tomato, lady's finger, beans, bottle guard, snake gourd, bitter guord etc.
f) Seeds: Seeds which are edible can be used as grains, pulses and oil seeds.
Grains include rice, wheat, jowar, maize, ragi etc.
Pulses include grams, peas, beans etc.
Oil seeds include groundnut, sesame, mustard, coconut, sunflower seed etc.
Animal food products
Animal food products are the different types of food that we get from animals. Animals provide us with different products like milk, eggs, poultry, meat, honey etc. Animals obtain their food from plants or other animals.
- Poultry farm is the place used to rear birds for their eggs and meat.
- Dairy farm is the place where buffaloes, goats, cows, sheep, pigs etc are kept in shed for rearing. We rear animals for their milk and meat. Milk is also used to prepare dairy products.
- Aquaculture includes rearing of fish, crabs, lobsters etc. Fish provide their meat for us. Fish can be marine or freshwater fish.
a) Milk: Animals like cows, buffaloes, goat, camel provide us their milk. Milk is rich in proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. It is called as complete food as it has all the nutrients.
Edible animal products
b) Eggs: Eggs are rich source of proteins. We get eggs from birds like hen, duck etc.
c) Meat: Flesh of animals is called as meat. We get this form hen, duck, sheep, goat, pig, cow etc.
d) Sea food: Fish, prawns, crabs also provide us their meat as food.
e) Honey: This is the food product obtained from honey bees. They collect nectar from different flowers, mix it with a secretion from their mouth and convert it into honey. Bees store this honey in their bee hives.
f) Dairy products: The products which can be made from milk are called as dairy products. Some common dairy products which we use in our daily life are paneer, cheese, cream,butter, curd, ghee etc.
Animals and their food
Based on food they eat, animals are grouped into three groups namely, herbivores, carnivores, omnivores and decomposers.
a) Herbivores: Animals which eat only plants are called as herbivores. These are also called as grass-eating animals. e.g. Cow, sheep, goat, deer, buffalo, camel etc.
b) Carnivores: Animals which eat only small animals are called as carnivores. These are also called as flesh-eating animals. e.g. Tiger, lion, jackals, vultures etc.
c) Omnivores: Animals which eat both plants and animals are called as omnivores. e.g. Human being, bear, crow etc.
d) Decomposers: Organisms which feed on dead plants, dead animals and rotten materials for their food are called as decomposers.
Food habits in human beings
Human beings, based on the type of food they eat are grouped into two groups namely, vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
a) Vegetarians: These are the individuals who depend on plants and plant products for their food. Vegetarian diet comprises only pulses, grains, cereals, fruits, vegetables.
b) Non-vegetarians: These are the individuals who depend on animals and animal products for their food. Non-vegetarian diet comprises eggs, meat, fish, poultry etc.