Food

Foods from plant sources

Food is any substance[1] consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism’s cells in an effort to produce energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth.

Historically, people secured food through two methods: food industry.

access to food.

The ICESCR), recognizing the “right to an adequate standard of living, including adequate food”, as well as the “fundamental right to be free from hunger”.

Food sources

Global average daily calorie consumption

All food has its origin in plants. Some food is obtained directly from plants; but even animals that are used as food sources are raised by feeding them food derived from plants. Cereal grain is a staple food that provides more food energy worldwide than any other type of crop. Maize, wheat, and rice – in all of their varieties – account for 87% of all grain production worldwide.[2] Most of the grain that is produced worldwide is fed to livestock.

Other foods not from animal or plant sources include various edible fungi, especially mushrooms. Fungi and ambient bacteria are used in the preparation of fermented and pickled foods like leavened bread, alcoholic drinks, cheese, pickles, kombucha, and yogurt. Another example is blue-green algae such as Spirulina.[3] Inorganic substances such as baking soda and cream of tartar are also used to chemically alter an ingredient.

Plants

See also: spices

Many plants or plant parts are eaten as food. There are around 2,000 plant species which are cultivated for food, and many have several distinct cultivars.[4]

Seeds of plants are a good source of food for animals, including humans, because they contain the nutrients necessary for the plant’s initial growth, including many healthful fats, such as Omega fats. In fact, the majority of food consumed by human beings are seed-based foods. Edible seeds include cereals (maize, wheat, rice, et cetera), legumes (beans, peas, lentils, et cetera), and nuts. Oilseeds are often pressed to produce rich oils – sunflower, flaxseed, rapeseed (including canola oil), sesame, et cetera.[5]

Seeds are typically high in unsaturated fats and, in moderation, are considered a health food, although not all seeds are edible. Large seeds, such as those from a cyanide).

Fruits are the ripened ovaries of plants, including the seeds within. Many plants have evolved fruits that are attractive as a food source to animals, so that animals will eat the fruits and excrete the seeds some distance away. Fruits, therefore, make up a significant part of the diets of most cultures. Some botanical fruits, such as tomatoes, pumpkins, and eggplants, are eaten as vegetables.[6] (For more information, see list of fruits.)

Vegetables are a second type of plant matter that is commonly eaten as food. These include root vegetables (potatoes and carrots), bulbs (onion family), leaf vegetables (spinach and lettuce), stem vegetables (bamboo shoots and asparagus), and inflorescence vegetables (globe artichokes and broccoli and other vegetables such as cabbage or cauliflower).[7]

Animals

Various raw meats

Animals are used as food either directly or indirectly by the products they produce. Meat is an example of a direct product taken from an animal, which comes from muscle systems or from organs. Food products produced by animals include milk produced by mammary glands, which in many cultures is drunk or processed into dairy products (cheese, butter, et cetera). In addition, birds and other animals lay eggs, which are often eaten, and bees produce honey, a reduced nectar from flowers, which is a popular sweetener in many cultures. Some cultures consume blood, sometimes in the form of blood sausage, as a thickener for sauces, or in a cured, salted form for times of food scarcity, and others use blood in stews such as jugged hare.[8]

Some cultures and people do not consume meat or animal food products for cultural, dietary, health, ethical, or ideological reasons. ingredients from an animal source.

Production

Most food has always been obtained through [10]

In popular culture, the mass production of food, specifically meats such as chicken and beef, has come under fire from various documentaries, most recently Food, Inc, documenting the mass slaughter and poor treatment of animals, often for easier revenues from large corporations. Along with a current trend towards environmentalism, people in Western culture have had an increasing trend towards the use of herbal supplements, foods for a specific group of person (such as dieters, women, or athletes), functional foods (fortified foods, such as omega-3 eggs), and a more ethnically diverse diet.[11]

Several organisations have begun calling for a new kind of agriculture in which agroecosystems provide food but also support vital ecosystem services so that soil fertility and biodiversity are maintained rather than compromised. According the International Water Management Institute and UNEP, well-managed agroecosystems not only provide food, fibre and animal products, they also provide services such as flood mitigation, groundwater recharge, erosion control and habitats for plants, birds fish and other animals.[12]

Taste perception

Animals, specifically humans, have five different types of tastes: saturated fats, are thicker and rich and are thus considered more enjoyable to eat.

Sweet

3D structure of polysaccharide.

Generally regarded as the most pleasant taste, sweetness is almost always caused by a type of simple sugar such as glucose or fructose, or disaccharides such as sucrose, a molecule combining glucose and fructose.[15] Complex carbohydrates are long chains and thus do not have the sweet taste. Artificial sweeteners such as sucralose are used to mimic the sugar molecule, creating the sensation of sweet, without the calories. Other types of sugar include raw sugar, which is known for its amber color, as it is unprocessed. As sugar is vital for energy and survival, the taste of sugar is pleasant.

The stevia plant contains a compound known as steviol which, when extracted, has 300 times the sweetness of sugar while having minimal impact on blood sugar.[16]

Sour

Sourness is caused by the taste of acids, such as vinegar in alcoholic beverages. Sour foods include citrus, specifically lemons, limes, and to a lesser degree oranges. Sour is evolutionarily significant as it is a sign for a food that may have gone rancid due to bacteria.[17] Many foods, however, are slightly acidic, and help stimulate the taste buds and enhance flavor.

Salty

Salt mounds in Bolivia.

Saltiness is the taste of alkali metal ions such as sodium and potassium. It is found in almost every food in low to moderate proportions to enhance flavor, although to eat pure salt is regarded as highly unpleasant. There are many different types of salt, with each having a different degree of saltiness, including sea salt, fleur de sel, kosher salt, mined salt, and grey salt. Other than enhancing flavor, its significance is that the body needs and maintains a delicate electrolyte balance, which is the kidney‘s function. Salt may be iodized, meaning iodine has been added to it, a necessary nutrient that promotes thyroid function. Some canned foods, notably soups or packaged broths, tend to be high in salt as a means of preserving the food longer. Historically speaking, salt has been used as a meat preservative as salt promotes water excretion, thus working as a preservative. Similarly, dried foods also promote food safety.[18]

Bitter

caffeine, lemon rind, and some types of fruit are known to be bitter.

Umami

Umami, the Japanese word for delicious, is the least known in Western popular culture, but has a long tradition in Asian cuisine. Umami is the taste of glutamates, especially monosodium glutamate or MSG.[15] It is characterized as savory, meaty, and rich in flavor. Salmon and mushrooms are foods high in umami. Meat and other animal byproducts are described as having this taste.

Cuisine

Many cultures have a recognizable cuisine, a specific set of taste, the perception of flavor from eating and drinking. Certain tastes are more enjoyable than others, for evolutionary purposes.

Presentation

Aesthetically pleasing and eye-appealing food presentations can encourage people to consume foods. A common saying is that people “eat with their eyes”. Food presented in a clean and appetizing way will encourage a good flavor, even if unsatisfactory.[20]

Contrast in texture

Texture plays a crucial role in the enjoyment of eating foods. Contrasts in textures, such as something crunchy in an otherwise smooth dish, may increase the appeal of eating it. Common examples include adding granola to yogurt, adding croutons to a salad or soup, and toasting bread to enhance its crunchiness for a smooth topping, such as jam or butter.[21]

Contrast in taste

Another universal phenomenon regarding food is the appeal of contrast in taste and presentation. Opposite flavors, such as nuts.

Food preparation

While many foods can be eaten raw, many also undergo some form of preparation for reasons of safety, palatability, texture, or flavor. At the simplest level this may involve washing, cutting, trimming, or adding other foods or ingredients, such as spices. It may also involve mixing, heating or cooling, pressure cooking, fermentation, or combination with other food. In a home, most food preparation takes place in a kitchen. Some preparation is done to enhance the taste or aesthetic appeal; other preparation may help to preserve the food; others may be involved in cultural identity. A meal is made up of food which is prepared to be eaten at a specific time and place.[22]

A refrigerator helps to keep foods fresh.

Animal preparation

The preparation of animal-based food usually involves slaughter, evisceration, hanging, portioning, and rendering. In developed countries, this is usually done outside the home in slaughterhouses, which are used to process animals en masse for meat production. Many countries regulate their slaughterhouses by law. For example, the United States has established the Humane Slaughter Act of 1958, which requires that an animal be stunned before killing. This act, like those in many countries, exempts slaughter in accordance to religious law, such as kosher, shechita, and dhabiĥa halal. Strict interpretations of kashrut require the animal to be fully aware when its carotid artery is cut.[23]

On the local level, a butcher may commonly break down larger animal meat into smaller manageable cuts, and pre-wrap them for commercial sale or wrap them to order in butcher paper. In addition, fish and seafood may be fabricated into smaller cuts by a fish monger. However fish butchery may be done on board a fishing vessel and quick-frozen for preservation of quality.[24]

Cooking

Cooking with a China

The term “cooking” encompasses a vast range of methods, tools, and combinations of ingredients to improve the flavor or digestibility of food. Cooking technique, known as [26]

Cooking requires applying heat to a food which usually, though not always, chemically changes the molecules, thus changing its flavor, [29]

Cooking equipment

A traditional asado (barbecue)

There are many different types of equipment used for cooking.

[31]

Various types of cook-tops are used as well. They carry the same variations of fuel types as the ovens mentioned above. Cook-tops are used to heat vessels placed on top of the heat source, such as a sauté pan, sauce pot, frying pan, or pressure cooker. These pieces of equipment can use either a moist or dry cooking method and include methods such as steaming, simmering, boiling, and poaching for moist methods, while the dry methods include sautéing, pan frying, and deep-frying.[32]

In addition, many cultures use grills for cooking. A grill operates with a radiant heat source from below, usually covered with a metal grid and sometimes a cover. An open pit barbecue in the American south is one example along with the American style outdoor grill fueled by wood, liquid propane, or charcoal along with soaked wood chips for smoking.[33] A Mexican style of barbecue is called barbacoa, which involves the cooking of meats such as whole sheep over an open fire. In Argentina, an asado (Spanish for “grilled”) is prepared on a grill held over an open pit or fire made upon the ground, on which a whole animal or smaller cuts are grilled.[34]

Raw food preparation

Many types of tuna.

Certain cultures highlight animal and vegetable foods in their raw state. ceviche, a Latin American dish made with raw meat that is “cooked” from the highly acidic citric juice from lemons and limes along with other aromatics such as garlic.

Restaurants

Allyn House restaurant menu (March 5, 1859)

Restaurants employ trained [39]

Food manufacturing

Packaged household food items

Packaged foods are manufactured outside the home for purchase. This can be as simple as a [42]

At the start of the 21st century, a two-tier structure has arisen, with a few international food processing giants controlling a wide range of well-known food [42]

Commercial trade

Food imports in 2005

International exports and imports

The [46]

In 1994, over 100 countries became signatories to the [48]

Marketing and retailing

Packaged food aisles of supermarket in United States of America

Food marketing brings together the producer and the consumer. It is the chain of activities that brings food from “farm gate to plate”.[49] The marketing of even a single food product can be a complicated process involving many producers and companies. For example, fifty-six companies are involved in making one can of chicken noodle soup. These businesses include not only chicken and vegetable processors but also the companies that transport the ingredients and those who print labels and manufacture cans.[50] The food marketing system is the largest direct and indirect non-government employer in the United States.

In the pre-modern era, the sale of surplus food took place once a week when farmers took their wares on market day into the local village marketplace. Here food was sold to [51]

In the 20th century, supermarkets were born. Supermarkets brought with them a self service approach to shopping using shopping carts, and were able to offer quality food at lower cost through economies of scale and reduced staffing costs. In the latter part of the 20th century, this has been further revolutionized by the development of vast warehouse-sized, out-of-town supermarkets, selling a wide range of food from around the world.[52]

Unlike food processors, food retailing is a two-tier market in which a small number of very large companies control a large proportion of supermarkets. The supermarket giants wield great purchasing power over farmers and processors, and strong influence over consumers. Nevertheless, less than 10% of consumer spending on food goes to farmers, with larger percentages going to advertising, transportation, and intermediate corporations.[53]

Prices

Some essential food products including pasta

It was reported on March 24, 2008, that consumers worldwide faced rising food prices.[54]

It is rare for the spikes to hit all major foods in most countries at once. Food prices rose 4% in the United States in 2007, the highest increase since 1990, and are expected to climb as much again in 2008. As of December 2007, 37 countries faced food crises, and 20 had imposed some sort of food-price controls. In China, the price of pork jumped 58% in 2007. In the 1980s and 1990s, farm subsidies and support programs allowed major grain exporting countries to hold large surpluses, which could be tapped during food shortages to keep prices down. However, new trade policies have made agricultural production much more responsive to market demands, putting global food reserves at their lowest since 1983.[54]

Food prices are rising, wealthier Asian consumers are westernizing their diets, and farmers and nations of the third world are struggling to keep up the pace. The past five years have seen rapid growth in the contribution of Asian nations to the global fluid and powdered milk manufacturing industry, which in 2008 accounted for more than 30% of production, while China alone accounts for more than 10% of both production and consumption in the global fruit and vegetable processing and preserving industry. The trend is similarly evident in industries such as soft drink and bottled water manufacturing, as well as global cocoa, chocolate, and sugar confectionery manufacturing, forecast to grow by 5.7% and 10.0% respectively during 2008 in response to soaring demand in Chinese and Southeast Asian markets.[57]

Rising food prices over recent years have been linked with social unrest around the world, including rioting in Bangladesh and Mexico,[58] and the Arab Spring[citation needed].

As investment

Institutions such as [58]

Some experts have said that speculation has merely aggravated other factors, such as [58]

Famine and hunger

Food deprivation leads to malnutrition and ultimately starvation. This is often connected with famine, which involves the absence of food in entire communities. This can have a devastating and widespread effect on human health and mortality. Rationing is sometimes used to distribute food in times of shortage, most notably during times of war.[10]

Starvation is a significant international problem. Approximately 815 million people are undernourished, and over 16,000 children die per day from hunger-related causes.[60]

Food aid

Food aid can benefit people suffering from a shortage of food. It can be used to improve peoples’ lives in the short term, so that a society can increase its standard of living to the point that food aid is no longer required.[61] Conversely, badly managed food aid can create problems by disrupting local markets, depressing crop prices, and discouraging food production. Sometimes a cycle of food aid dependence can develop.[62] Its provision, or threatened withdrawal, is sometimes used as a political tool to influence the policies of the destination country, a strategy known as food politics. Sometimes, food aid provisions will require certain types of food be purchased from certain sellers, and food aid can be misused to enhance the markets of donor countries.[63] International efforts to distribute food to the neediest countries are often coordinated by the World Food Programme.[64]

Safety

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) Flowchart

[65]

Food poisoning has been recognized as a disease since as early as Hippocrates.[66] The sale of rancid, contaminated, or adulterated food was commonplace until the introduction of hygiene, refrigeration, and vermin controls in the 19th century. Discovery of techniques for killing bacteria using heat, and other microbiological studies by scientists such as Louis Pasteur, contributed to the modern sanitation standards that are ubiquitous in developed nations today. This was further underpinned by the work of Justus von Liebig, which led to the development of modern food storage and food preservation methods.[67] In more recent years, a greater understanding of the causes of food-borne illnesses has led to the development of more systematic approaches such as the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), which can identify and eliminate many risks.[68]

Recommended measures for ensuring food safety include maintaining a clean preparation area with foods of different types kept separate, ensuring an adequate cooking temperature, and refrigerating foods promptly after cooking.[69]

Foods that spoil easily, such as meats, dairy, and seafood, must be prepared a certain way to avoid contaminating the people for whom they are prepared. As such, the general rule of thumb is that cold foods (such as dairy products) should be kept cold and hot foods (such as soup) should be kept hot until storage. Cold meats, such as chicken, that are to be cooked should not be placed at room temperature for thawing, at the risk of dangerous bacterial growth, such as Salmonella or E. coli.[70]

Allergies

Some people have [71]

Rarely, food allergies can lead to a [73]

Other health issues

Human diet was estimated to cause perhaps around 35% of [75]

Anticarcinogens that may help prevent cancer can also be found in many food especially fruits and vegetable. Antioxidants are important groups of compounds that may help remove potentially harmful chemicals. It is however often difficult to identify the specific components in diet that serve to increase or decrease cancer risk since many food, such as beef steak and broccoli, contain low concentrations of both carcinogens and anticarcinogens.[75]

Diet

Cultural and religious diets

Dietary habits are the habitual decisions a person or culture makes when choosing what foods to eat.cuisine.

Diet deficiencies

Dietary habits play a significant role in the health and mortality of all humans. Imbalances between the consumed fuels and expended energy results in either starvation or excessive reserves of [82]

Moral, ethical, and health conscious diets

Many individuals limit what foods they eat for reasons of morality, or other habit. For instance, [86]

Nutrition and dietary problems

Between the extremes of optimal health and death from cardiovascular diseases as well as psychological and behavioral problems. The science of nutrition attempts to understand how and why specific dietary aspects influence health.

Nutrients in food are grouped into several categories. Macronutrients are fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Micronutrients are the dietary fiber.

As previously discussed, the body is designed by obesity in adults and children alike.

Legal definition

Some countries list a legal definition of food. These countries list food as any item that is to be processed, partially processed, or unprocessed for consumption. The listing of items included as foodstuffs include any substance intended to be, or reasonably expected to be, ingested by humans. In addition to these foodstuffs, drink, chewing gum, water, or other items processed into said food items are part of the legal definition of food. Items not included in the legal definition of food include animal feed, live animals (unless being prepared for sale in a market), plants prior to harvesting, medicinal products, cosmetics, tobacco and tobacco products, narcotic or psychotropic substances, and residues and contaminants.[87]

Types of food

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica definition
  2. ^ “ProdSTAT”. FAOSTAT. http://faostat.fao.org/site/567/DesktopDefault.aspx. Retrieved 2008.
  3. ^ McGee, 333–334.
  4. ^ McGee, 253.
  5. ^ McGee, Chapter 9.
  6. ^ McGee, Chapter 7.
  7. ^ McGee, Chapter 6.
  8. ^ Davidson, 81–82.
  9. ^ Mason
  10. ^ b Messer, 53–91.
  11. ^ http://www.faqs.org/nutrition/Ome-Pop/Popular-Culture-Food-and.html
  12. ^ Boelee, E. (Ed) Ecosystems for water and food security, 2011, IWMI, UNEP
  13. ^ http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/28063.php
  14. ^ “Why does pure water have no taste or colour?”. The Times Of India. 2004-04-03. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/598799.cms.
  15. ^ b New Oxford American Dictionary
  16. ^ The sweetness multiplier “300 times” comes from subjective evaluations by a panel of test subjects tasting various dilutions compared to a standard dilution of sucrose. Sources referenced in this article say steviosides have up to 250 times the sweetness of sucrose, but others, including stevioside brands such as SweetLeaf, claim 300 times. 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon (1.6–2.5 ml) of stevioside powder is claimed to have equivalent sweetening power to 1 cup (237 ml) of sugar.
  17. ^ States “having an acid taste like lemon or vinegar: she sampled the wine and found it was sour. (of food, esp. milk) spoiled because of fermentation.” New Oxford American Dictionary
  18. ^ http://www.chemistryexplained.com/Fe-Ge/Food-Preservatives.html
  19. ^ http://www.brain-food.org/blog/you-first-eat-with-your-eyes
  20. ^ Food Texture, Andrew J. Rosenthal
  21. http://books.google.com/?id=aJBIbvClWfcC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Food+texture#v=onepage&q=&f=false.
  22. ^ Mead, 11–19
  23. ^ McGee, 142–143.
  24. ^ McGee, 202–206
  25. ^ McGee Chapter 14.
  26. ^ c Mead, 11–19.
  27. ^ McGee
  28. ^ Campbell, 312.
  29. ^ McGee, 784.
  30. ^ Davidson, 782–783
  31. ^ McGee, 539,784.
  32. ^ McGee, 771–791
  33. ^ Davidson, 356.
  34. ^ Asado Argentina
  35. ^ Davidson, 786–787.
  36. ^ Robuchon, 224.
  37. ^ Davidson, 656
  38. ^ Davidson, 660–661.
  39. ^ United States Department of Agriculture
  40. ^ Aguilera, 1–3.
  41. ^ Miguel, 3.
  42. ^ c Jango-Cohen
  43. ^ Hannaford
  44. ^ The Economic Research Service of the USDA
  45. ^ Regmi
  46. ^ CIA World Factbook
  47. ^ World Trade Organization, The Uruguay Round
  48. ^ Van den Bossche
  49. ^ Wansink, Marketing Nutrition, 501–3.
  50. ^ Smith, 501–3.
  51. ^ Benson
  52. ^ Humphery
  53. ^ Magdoff, Fred (Ed.) “[T]he farmer’s share of the food dollar (after paying for input costs) has steadily declined from about 40 percent in 1910 to less than 10 percent in 1990.”
  54. ^ f CNN “[Food prices rising across the world” 24 March 2008
  55. ^ Reuters
  56. ^ GMA News
  57. ^ May 2008, Global Trends: – Food Production and Consumption: The China Effect, IBISWorld
  58. ^ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/the-real-hunger-games-how-banks-gamble-on-food-prices–and-the-poor-lose-out-7606263.html. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  59. ^ World Health Organization
  60. ^ Howe, 353–372
  61. ^ World Food Programme
  62. ^ Shah
  63. ^ Kripke
  64. ^ United Nations World Food program
  65. ^ National Institute of Health, MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
  66. ^ Hippocrates, On Acute Diseases.
  67. ^ Magner, 243–498
  68. ^ USDA
  69. ^ http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/basics/index.html
  70. ^ http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Chicken_Food_Safety_Focus/index.asp
  71. ^ National Institute of Health
  72. ^ About Epipen, Epipen.com
  73. ^ About Twinject, Twinject.com
  74. edit
  75. ^ 0-309-05391-9.
  76. ^ Wansink, Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think
  77. ^ Simoons
  78. ^ Nicklas
  79. ^ Merson, 245
  80. ^ Merson, 231.
  81. ^ Merson, 464.
  82. ^ Merson, 224.
  83. ^ Carpenter
  84. ^ Merson, 266–268.
  85. ^ Parekh, 187–206.
  86. ^ Schor
  87. ^ United Kingdom Office of Public Sector Information

References

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Further reading

  • Collingham, E. M. The Taste of War: World War Two and the Battle for Food (2011)
  • Katz, Solomon. The Encyclopedia of Food and Culture, (Scribner, 2003)
  • Marion Nestle: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health, University Presses of California, revised and expanded edition 2007, ISBN 0-520-25403-1

External links



Source: Wikipedia