Food Where Does It Come From


What is food?

Food can be defined as any edible material that is essential for the sustenance of living things.  Why is it so important?

  • Provides energy for necessary activities such as breathing, digesting food and keeping warm
  • Promotes growth and repair of the cells and tissues of the body
  • Keeps the immune system healthy

In fact consumption of the right kind of food and nutrients is considered one of the best preventative method against diseases. So clearly food is very important in our lives.

Different Types of Food:

We all have three square meals a day. Now think carefully, do we have the same dishes for every meal? Probably not.

When you have your tiffin during recess, you might have noticed that what you eat is different from what your friends eat.

Task 1:

Make a list of all the different foods your friends eat in a single day in a table. Compare the items to get a better understanding of food and it’s varieties.

Food and its ingredients:

Now, let’s take a look at some of the most common foods that all of us eat. One example is chapatis. What exactly what goes into making chapatis? Chapatis are made of wheat flour or atta and water. So, these are the ingredients required for making chapatis.

Ingredients :

can be defined as substances that are combined together to make a specific mixture or dish.

Foods like chapatis and rice only require two ingredients in their preparation. But most dishes require a longer list of ingredients. Think about your favourite chicken curry or a delicious kadhai paneer. These dishes have a lot more ingredients. Chicken curry needs chicken, spices, oil, water and vegetables. So clearly, different combination of ingredients produce completely different foods.

Task 2:

Refer to the table you made during Task 1. There are many different dishes in that list. Find out the ingredients that are used to prepare each dish. Can you find ingredients in common?

Ingredients and Their Sources:

Now that we understand what ingredients are, let’s take a closer look at the sources of these ingredients. Potatoes are a very commonly used ingredient. We know that potatoes are vegetables and come from plants. But how about some complicated ingredients such as rice and pulses? Well, guess what? These also come from plants.

  • Rice is the grain derived from paddy fields
  • Pulses are nothing but the edible seeds of specific plants
  • Food items such as meat, milk, eggs and lard are derived from a variety of different animals.

Plants as a Food Source:

Plants act as a diverse source of food items providing fruits, vegetable, oils and so much more.

  • Apples and oranges are some popular fruits
  • Cabbage and carrots are some common vegetables

However, all four of these are derived from plants. But did you know oil is also derived from plants?

  • The commonly used sunflower oil is obtained from the seeds of sunflower plants.

Can you find out the source of mustard oil?

Now, many of us eating boiled chana as it is a highly nutritious and tasty dish. But have you noticed that some chana seeds often have a small white structure growing out of them? These small structures are nothing but sprouts, growths that have developed on the seeds. These sprouted seeds are an important food item as well.

Honey is a commonly used ingredient but do you know where honey comes from?

  • Bees collect nectar, a sweet fluid secreted in flowers, and use it to create honey in their bee hive
  • As nectar is not available all year round, bees store it in the form of honey in their hive
  • Humans then extract this honey and process it and the processed product is what we finally consume

Edible Plant Parts:

Plants are a very common source of food. What’s interesting is that we use different parts of a plant as ingredients.

For example, the commonly eaten carrot is a actually the root of the carrot plant while corn kernels are nothing but seeds of the maize plant. But can we consume more than one part of a single plant? Yes, of course!

Banana plant is one such example. We commonly eat the fruit of the banana plant while the flowers of the banana plant are used as a vegetable for making popular savoury dishes.

Task 3:

Find more plants that have such diversity.

Animals as a Food Source:

We derive many commonly used food items from animals such as milk, cheese, curd, eggs and meat. These products can be derived from many different animals such as cows, chickens, goats and buffaloes. Some of these products can even be derived from the same animal. For example,

  • Chickens give us eggs and we also consume their meat.
  • We consume the meat from cows and also obtain milk from them.

Can you think of more animals that give us more than one type of food item?

Till now we have discussed the kind of foods we eat and their sources. But what do animals eat? This varies greatly. You must have noticed pigeons eating little seeds. Cows graze and eat grass and green plants.

  • Animals like these that only consume plant material are known as herbivores.
  • Animals that only eat other animals are known as carnivores. Crows are carnivores.
  • Animals that consume both plants as well as other animals are known as omnivores. In fact, humans are omnivores as we can eat and digest both plant-derived foods as well as other animals.

Task 4:

Make a table with three columns as herbivores, carnivores and omnivores and try to name as many animals as you can.

So, now that we have learnt about food and its importance, we must remember to never take it for granted. Make a habit of always finishing your food so that there is no wastage.

Points to remember:

  • Ingredients
  • Sprouts
  • Nectar
  • Plant and animal food sources
  • Herbivores
  • Carnivores
  • Omnivores

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