Throughout human history, food has been a source of sustenance. Different cultures and societies have diverse diets and food preparation methods. In addition, various social and economic constructs can also affect the way people eat. The food we consume can be made from animal, plant, or fungal origin. The nutrients contained in food are vital for the repair and maintenance of our body tissues. Food can also help us avoid illness.
Food is the source of energy for animals and plants. Animals and plants also use food to help sustain their growth. The primary source of energy for humans is carbohydrates, which are broken down by the body to produce energy. Other sources of energy include protein and fats. Fats can also help reduce inflammation. Foods with high levels of fat include meat, milk, and eggs. Foods with low levels of fat include whole grains, legumes, and nuts.
Food has different tastes, and some tastes are more pleasant than others. The rind of lemons, for example, is known to be bitter. Other foods known for their bitter taste are caffeine, tea, and unsweetened dark chocolate.
There are many different types of equipment used to prepare food. Foods are also processed. Processed food includes food that has been processed, including pasteurizing, cutting, and washing. Some processed foods are also fortified with additional nutrients. These foods can be used to provide important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Processed foods are beneficial because they can save time when preparing a meal. However, they may contain preservatives, flavors, and other additives. These additives can help prevent bacteria and mold from forming and can also help slow product spoilage. These additives may also be used to help prevent botulism, which is a potentially deadly bacterium.
Foods that are high in fat include animal fats, such as lard and butter. Fish and poultry also contain high levels of fat. Fat from plants can also help decrease inflammation. Foods that are rich in antioxidants, however, can help prevent fats from becoming rancid. Foods that contain large amounts of phytonutrients, such as dark green vegetables, are also beneficial.
Foods that have a strong umami flavor include meats, fish sauce, and yeast extract. Foods with a sour taste include oranges, limes, and lemons. Foods that have a sharp, pungent taste are also considered to be bitter.
Foods that are high in saturated fat include butter, dairy products, and eggs. Foods that are low in saturated fat include whole grains, nuts, and legumes. Grass-fed meats are more anti-inflammatory than corn-fed meats. Legumes are considered protein foods.
Many foods can be contaminated with bacteria, fungus, or mold. When contaminated, food can cause diarrhoea, foodborne illness, and cancer. Food can also be contaminated by small amounts of packaging substances that enter food during storage. Foods that have been contaminated can lead to over 200 different diseases. Approximately 600 million people fall ill from eating contaminated food every year. Food waste is also a major contributor to climate change. Food loss and waste adds up to 3.3 billion tons of CO2e each year.