One of the most fascinating Biology Topics is the study of genetics and how traits are passed down through generations.
What does eating a variety of foods mean?
Well eat chcipatti (roti) and rice ; bread and butter ; fruits, vegetables and pulses; vegetable oil (cooking oil), butter and desi ghee. Some of us also eat eggs, meat, chicken and fish. And all of us drink milk. These are some of the examples of food. In fact, anything which we eat to live is called food. Food is necessary for us because it provides ‘matter’ for the growth of our body and ‘energy’ to do work.
We can now define food as follows : Food is a substance eaten by us to do work, grow, maintain our body and remain healthy. Food is like a fuel for our body. Just as petrol is fuel for a car, in the same way, food is fuel for our body. We must eat food to stay alive. It is not only human beings who eat food, in fact, all the animals eat food to live. No living thing can survive without food. So, food is very precious. We should not waste food in any way.
We eat many different kinds of food at different times and on different days. This is called variety in food. Different people eat different types of food according to their habits, life style, taste and availability. For example, some people eat mainly food prepared from wheat (like chapatti, bread or noodles), pulses (dal), vegetables and fruits. On the other hand, some people eat mainly rice preparations (in the form of boiled rice, biryani, dosa or idli). And some people also eat dishes made from eggs, meat, chicken and fish. Please note that a particular variety or preparation of food served as part of a meal is called dish. And any of the foods or substances which are combined to make a particular dish are called ingredients.
Food Items and Their Ingredients
The various food items (or dishes) which we eat daily are usually made up of more than one materials or ingredients. This will become more clear from the following examples. In order to prepare boiled rice, we take raw rice and boil it in water. So, just two materials or two ingredients, raw rice and water, are needed to prepare a dish of boiled rice. Even chapatti (or roti) is made of only two ingredients : flour (atta), and water (Flour is the powder obtained by grinding grain, usually wheat grain).
Some food items are, however, made by using many ingredients. For example, vegetable curry is made by using many ingredients like different types of vegetables, salt, spices, oil, and water. Similarly, a dish of dal can be made by using many ingredients such as pulses (urad, moong, masoor, etc.), salt, spices, oil, and water, etc. (Please note that urad dal is black gram; moong dal is green gram whereas masoor dal is lentil). Some of the common ‘food preparations’, ‘food items’ or ‘dishes’ and their major ingredients are given below.
Some Common Food Items and Their Major Ingredients
In the above discussion we have used oil for preparing many food items or dishes. The ‘oil’ here means ‘cooking oil’. The cooking oil includes groundnut oil, mustard oil, sunflower oil and coconut oil, etc. Please note that in place of oil, we can also use ghee to prepare food or cook food. Ghee (also called desi ghee) is made from milk.
The food ingredients like rice, flour (atta), vegetables, pulses, spices, and oil, all come from various types of plants. Sugar also comes from plants. We get sugar from sugarcane (which is a plant). On the other hand, the food ingredients such as milk, ghee, eggs, chicken, mutton and fish, come from animals. Please note that oil is a plant product (it is extracted from oil-seeds) but ghee is an animal product (which is made from milk).
Sources Of Food ; Plants And Animals
Most of the food which we eat comes from plants and animals. So, the main sources of our food are :
- Plants, and
The foodgrains (like wheat, rice and maize, etc.), pulses, fruits and vegetables which we eat, all come from various types of plants. The plants also give us oils (like groundnut oil, mustard oil, coconut oil and sunflower oil, etc.), which are used in cooking food. Sugar, spices, tea and coffee are also plant products. In fact, plants are the major source of food for human beings and other animals.
Please note that the grains used for food are called foodgrains or cereals. We can now say that: Plants are the source of food materials like cereals (wheat, maize, rice, sorghum, millet, etc.), pulses, oils, fruits, vegetables, sugar, spices, tea and coffee, etc. About half of the human food comes from just two crops : wheat and rice. Wheat grains are ground to make flour for chapatti (roti), bread and noodles, etc. Rice is used as such in the form of boiled rice and biryani or in the form of dosa and idli, etc.
Animals provide us food materials such as milk, eggs, chicken, meat, fish and honey. The animals like cow and buffalo give us milk. Goat and camel are two other animals which also give us milk. The
adult female chickens are called hens. The hens provide us eggs and chicken. Goat and sheep give us meat (or mutton). Please note that when we talk of ‘chicken’ as food material, it actually means ‘chicken meat’. And by saying ‘meat’ we usually mean ‘mutton’ (which is goat meat or sheep meat). Fish and prawn are also animals which are used as food by many people. Honey is another food material provided by animals. Honey comes from the insects called bees (or honeybees).