Throughout human history, food has been the primary source of nutrition. Humans historically secured food through hunting and gathering. Today, improved methods of agriculture have made a wide variety of foods available. Increasing trade has also made food more widely available to people. However, the price of food is a concern for both producers and consumers.
Many foods contain nutrients that are important for the maintenance and repair of body tissues. These nutrients include protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Several food types also contain low levels of anticarcinogens.
In addition to being an essential source of nourishment, food provides energy. Throughout human history, different feeding behaviors have evolved to meet the needs of different ecological niches. For example, people in warm, wet lowlands depend on crops that retain water. Similarly, people in cool regions depend on crops that mature quickly.
Different cultures have developed different diets and cooking traditions. These traditions are commonly known as cuisine. Cultures are also affected by social constructs such as religion and belief systems. Food is also culturally influenced by geographic locations. For example, people who live near the ocean may eat more fish than people who live far inland.
Although people in developed countries tend to have nutritious diets, many people in developing countries do not. These people typically eat too much salt and fat, and they do not get enough fresh fruits and vegetables. Likewise, those who are nursing or expecting children may not receive the nutrients they need. This can lead to future physical problems.
Fortunately, many of these issues can be addressed. Many communities are working to connect people with food. Food security is an enormous problem. It is one of the biggest obstacles to human health and well-being. In fact, contaminated food kills 420,000 people each year. To prevent foodborne diseases, it is important to have a basic understanding of nutrition.
Food scientists are interested in food composition, shelf life, sensory characteristics, and nutritional aspects. These scientists are also responsible for developing new food products, processes, and technologies. They work to meet the global needs for a healthy and wholesome food supply.
Food science involves a variety of disciplines, including biology, chemistry, and engineering. Scientists also study the health benefits of foods, the relationship between food and disease, and the ways in which food affects our bodies.
Humans have evolved from a gathering lifestyle to a hunting lifestyle. Today, many cultures have diversified food preparation, manufacturing, and trade. Ethnic foods are popular in many countries. Some popular ethnic foods include Italian, Chinese, and Indian. The Chinese-American diet often includes tomatoes and potatoes.
The human body was designed to eat fattening foods. However, modern technology promotes obesity in children and adults. Fortunately, there are ways to increase the amount of nutrients in our diets. For example, dairy products are an important source of protein and carbohydrates. However, milk and other dairy products contain high levels of fat. People can also preserve fish by freezing or canning it.