Sources of food | EVS Grade 3 Learning Concepts | Orchids International
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Food

Concept: Sources of Food

Food is essential for all living organisms. The food that we eat mainly comes from two sources—plants and animals. Different parts of a plant are consumed as food like leaves, stems, flowers, seeds, fruits, roots, etc. Similarly, milk, eggs, and meat obtained from animals constitute an essential component of our daily diet.

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Food from plants:

We get vegetables from plants that we eat daily as a part of our normal diet. The term ‘vegetables’ commonly refers to all the plant parts that humans consume.

Vegetables:

The vegetables that we eat can be broadly divided into—

  • Underground (edible) vegetables.
  • Above the ground vegetative parts.
  • Above the ground reproductive parts.
  1. Underground (edible) vegetables:
    • These include underground stems (tubers), underground bulbs (modified short stems), and roots.
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    • As the parts are underground, they are mostly earthy in colour and hard in nature.
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    Example: Tubers—Potato, sweet potato, ginger, artichokes; Bulbs— Garlic, onion; Roots— Beet, radish, carrot, turnip.

  2. Above the ground vegetative parts:
    • These are the edible stems and leaves of plants.
    • These vegetative parts are mostly flexible and soft.
    • Most of the edible stems and leaves are green in colour.

    Example: Stems—Stems of broccoli and cauliflower, bamboo shoots, sugarcane; Leaves—Spinach, coriander, cabbage.

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  3. Above the ground reproductive parts:
    • These include flowers, fruits, and seeds.
    • They help in the reproduction of a plant.
    • Seeds are formed inside the fruits.

    Example: Flowers—Artichoke, cauliflower, broccoli, roses; Fruits—Mango, blueberry, kiwi, watermelon, lemon; Seeds—All kinds of nuts, hemp, sago, pomegranate, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds.

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Spices:

  • These are essentially the fruits, seeds, roots, barks, or any other plant parts or substances, which give flavour and colour to the food upon adding to the cooking.
  • Spices are usually dried plant parts.
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  • Following is a list of some of the spices and their available forms for cooking.
  • Spices Plant parts Form
    Cinnamon Bark Whole dried, powdered
    Clove Flower bud Whole dried, clove oil
    Cardamom Seedpod and seed Whole dried, powdered
    Black peppercorn Seed Whole dried, powdered
    Amchoor Raw mango (unripe) fruit Sun-dried
    Asafoetida (Hing) Gum resin Powdered
    Bay leaf (Tej Patta) Leaf Whole dried
    Coriander Leaf, seeds (Dhaniya) Fresh (leaves), dried (seeds), powdered
    Cumin Seed Whole dried
    Curry leaf Leaf Fresh, whole dried
    Chilly Fruit Fresh, whole dried, powdered
    Ginger Tuber (stem) Fresh, dried, powdered
    Saffron Flower parts Dried

Pulses and cereals:

  • The edible seeds of legumes are called pulses.
  • Example: Peas, beans, and lentils.

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  • The food made from pulses like peas, beans, and lentils makes our body stronger and healthy.
  • Cereals yield starchy grains that are consumed as food.
  • Example: Rice, wheat, maize, jowar, barley, etc.

  • Cereals are also used as animal food for domestic animals like poultry, cattle, etc.
  • The food prepared from cereals provides energy to our bodies.
  • Roti, bread, papad, bhakri, etc., are prepared using flours made from cereals.
  • The combination of cereal and pulses is a complete meal in itself.
  • Example: Rajma-chawal, khichdi, pongal, dosa and roti-dal.

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Medicinal plants:

  • Leaves, stems, roots, flowers, etc., of many plants, have medicinal properties and are used to treat some common ailments.
  • Many medicinal plants are easily available around our surroundings.

Example: Lemon is good for stomach problems, and lemon with ginger is used to cure a common cold, cough, and sore throat also. Other medicinal plants are basil (Tulsi), clove, aloe vera, etc.

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Food from animals:

Plants are not the only source of food that we eat. We rear some animals for food, which is called animal husbandry.

Example: Hen, lambs, pigs, goats, fish, etc.

  • People living in coastal areas and near rivers consume fish and other sea foods like prawns, crabs, and shellfish.
  • Different animals are reared for their eggs, milk, meat, and other products like honey, wax, wool etc.

The following list shows the animals and what food is obtained from them—

Animal Food Animal Product
Duck Eggs and meat -
Hen Eggs and meat -
Fish Meat Fish oil
Honey bee - Honey, wax
Goat Milk and meat -
Cattle Milk and meat Dairy products

New Words:

Reproduction: The process of producing young ones, in this case, tiny baby plants from the mother plant.

Legumes: A group of plants that produce peas, beans and lentils.


Did You Know?

  • Almonds are not nuts; instead, they are seeds.
  • Pure honey can last as long as 3000 years.
  • Apples, pears, and plums belong to the Rose family.
  • Cocoa beans were used as money in ancient times by the Maya Indians and Aztecs.

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