Food is one of the main sources of nourishment for both humans and animals. Food provides the necessary nutrients for growth and repair of body tissues. In addition, it gives us energy. Depending on the origin, food can be plant, animal or a mixture of both. However, there are differences in how people eat from one country to another. This variation is due to geographic differences, cultural beliefs and social factors.
Many people in the developed world eat too much salt and fat. Their diets are lacking in fruit and vegetables. They also consume too much sugar. The FDA has proposed a number of guidelines to improve the nutritional value of foods. Those rules include limiting the intake of added sugar to less than 10% of total calorie consumption.
Some of the most common additives are gelling and thickening agents, colouring agents, antioxidants, stabilisers, and emulsifiers. These substances are added to enhance the flavour, consistency, appearance, and shelf life of a food. Most additives are listed on the ingredient label.
Foods that are processed, frozen, dried, canned or preserved are generally not subject to the same FDA regulations. Packaging and handling substances may enter the product during storage, but manufacturers have to prove their safety before selling the food.
For the purpose of regulating food substances, the first regulations were case-by-case, meaning that the substances would have to meet specific legal standards. Food additives are generally required to have a positive ingredient list. Manufacturers can use different forms of the ingredients, but they must declare the allergens and provide the quantity of each substance used.
Meat and poultry are among the most important food sources for humankind. Beef and milk are rich in fats and proteins. Fish and shellfish are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals. People can preserve fish by canning or freezing them, or they can use other methods of preservation.
Other foods that are widely available around the world are vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts. People also eat dairy products, which supply essential proteins and carbohydrates. Dairy products are also rich in fats. Yogurt is an essential food for many parts of the world.
Many foods associated with national cuisines are the inventions of immigrants. For instance, many Chinese-American dishes contain potatoes. Similarly, some Thai or Japanese dishes feature rice. As a result, people from all over the world are exposed to new tastes and traditions.
In recent years, a wide variety of food products have become available. Improved techniques in agriculture and transportation have made it possible for people to enjoy a wider range of foods. Moreover, consumers demand tasty, safe and nutritious food.
Foods can be a source of nutrition, but they can also be a source of harmful chemicals and contaminants. Preservatives are used to keep food from spoiling and to prevent foodborne illness. Likewise, there are a number of additives that have been used since ancient times. A large number of these additives were not invented by the modern food industry.