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.
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.
a) Roots: We eat plant roots in the form of carrot, turnip, radish and beetroot.
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.