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Food is material that comes from animals or plants. It is eaten by living things to provide energy and nutrition. Food contains the nutrition that people need to be healthy. People need to eat protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to be healthy. Liquids used for energy and nutrition are often called "drinks".
Food for humans is mostly made through farming or gardening, and includes animal and vegetable sources. Some people refuse to eat food from animal origin, like meat, eggs, and products with milk in them. Not eating meat is called vegetarianism. Not eating or using any animal products is called veganism.
|Basic foods consumed by humans|
|Plant source||Animal source|
Food produced by farmers or gardeners can be transformed by industrial processes (the food industry). Processed food usually contains several natural ingredients and food additives (such as preservative, antioxidants, emulsifiers, flavour enhancers, etc.).
Most people do not grow their own food, so they have to buy food that was grown by someone else. People buy most of their food in stores, shops, or markets. But some people still grow most or all of their own food.
Food shortage is still a big problem in the world today. Many people do not have enough money to buy the food that they need. Bad weather or other problems sometimes destroy the growing food in one part of the world. When people do not have enough food, we say that they are hungry. If they do not eat enough food for a long time, they will become sick and die from starvation. In areas where many people do not have enough food, we say that there is famine there.
If people do not eat the right foods, they can become sick. If people do not eat enough protein, they get the disease called kwashiorkor. If they do not eat enough vitamin B1 (thiamine), they get the disease called beriberi. If people eat too much food, they can become overweight or obese. This is also bad for people's health.
Food in religions
Many cultures or religions have food taboos. That means they have rules what people should not eat, or how the food has to be prepared. Examples of religious food rules are the Kashrut of Judaism and the Halal of Islam, that say that pig meat cannot be eaten. In Hinduism, beef is not allowed to be eaten.