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.
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.
The vegetables that we eat can be broadly divided into—
- Underground (edible) vegetables.
- Above the ground vegetative parts.
- Above the ground reproductive parts.
- Underground (edible) vegetables:
- These include underground stems (tubers), underground bulbs (modified short stems), and roots.
- As the parts are underground, they are mostly earthy in colour and hard in nature.
Example: Tubers—Potato, sweet potato, ginger, artichokes; Bulbs— Garlic, onion; Roots— Beet, radish, carrot, turnip.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Following is a list of some of the spices and their available forms for cooking.
|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|
|Curry leaf||Leaf||Fresh, whole dried|
|Chilly||Fruit||Fresh, whole dried, powdered|
|Ginger||Tuber (stem)||Fresh, dried, powdered|
Pulses and cereals:
- The edible seeds of legumes are called pulses.
- 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.
- 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: Peas, beans, and lentils.
Example: Rice, wheat, maize, jowar, barley, etc.
Example: Rajma-chawal, khichdi, pongal, dosa and roti-dal.
- 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.
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—
|Duck||Eggs and meat||-|
|Hen||Eggs and meat||-|
|Honey bee||-||Honey, wax|
|Goat||Milk and meat||-|
|Cattle||Milk and meat||Dairy products|
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.