Food is any substance consumed by organisms to support life and provide energy. It is an essential requirement for all animals, plants and fungi. The term “food” is used most often to refer to nutrient-rich material consumed as a source of sustenance. The production and consumption of food is facilitated by the digestive system. The food chain is the sequence of organisms that transfers matter and energy from producers to consumers. The energy that is ingested by the consumer is stored in the form of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Different species have specialized metabolisms that satisfy their nutritional requirements within particular ecological niches.
In general, a healthy diet consists of mostly whole foods that are low in salt and saturated fat and high in fibre. Unprocessed, natural foods are best, but when these are not available, processed foods can be adequate. Avoid foods that are high in trans-fats, sugar or salt. Instead, choose those that are low in these ingredients and fortified with vitamins and minerals.
Cooking at home can be a great way to control the amount of salt, fat and sugar in your diet. You can make your own soups, stews and casseroles from scratch using fresh ingredients and a little bit of imagination. Try cooking a new dish each week to add variety to your meals. You can also experiment with adding herbs and spices to flavour dishes. Experiment with cooking methods too – steamed, grilled and roasted vegetables are healthier alternatives to fried foods.
Whenever possible, choose organically grown food. This reduces your exposure to pesticides and hormones, which are both harmful to human health and the environment. However, organic foods are more expensive than non-organic produce.
If you want to write an article about food, the first step is to understand your audience and the tone of your publication. Most food magazines and websites have a very specific readership and a distinct voice. Research and identify the editors and writers of each publication, as they will be your primary audience.
Writing about food can take many forms: food reviews, recipe pieces, opinion essays, celebrity chef profiles and investigative journalism. The basics of good writing – voice, style, description and detail, clarity and accuracy, knowledge and research – apply to all genres.
Remember, a successful food article is like a perfectly whipped souffle: it takes time and practice to perfect. So read lots, and write! And be patient – the best writing is often revised and improved through successive drafts. It’s worth the effort!