Significance and source of food:
Food accompanied with shelter and clothing from the most basic and important necessities of life. The preparation and choice of food vary worldwide based on diverse cultures, traditions, environment and religion. Moreover, choice of food intake differs from person to person. Our food is mainly sourced from plants and animals. Wheat, rice, fruits and vegetables consumed by us are sourced from plants, whereas dairy products, eggs, meat products are sourced from animals.
Plants – primary source of food:
In plants, edible parts are usually the stem, leaves, flower, fruit and seeds. The edible part differs from plant to plant. Some plants may have two or more edible parts while for some, only one part of the plant is edible. For example in the banana plant, bananas are enjoyed as fruit, while its stem is eaten as a vegetable and its leaves are used to serve the purpose of dishes in the south of India. Seeds such as celery beans pre-soaked in water overnight result in small shoots called sprouts and are consumed in snacks/salads. However, it should be known that not all plants are edible. There are many plants which are poisonous to our health. Animals depending only on plants for their living are called as herbivores. For example cattle, horse, rabbits, and elephants eat plants as their primary source of food.
Animals – secondary source of food:
Animals, themselves also contribute vastly to the source of food products. Dairy products like butter, cheese are made from milk obtained from cows, buffaloes, and goats. Honey bees collect nectar from flowers and store it in bee hives. This nectar is converted into honey in the beehives and is collected by us. Meat products generally consumed by us are chicken, beef, pork, fish, and prawns. Animals that prey on other animals are called as carnivores. For example, lion, tiger, fox eat other animals as their primary source of food. There are also some animals which live on both plants and animals. These are called as omnivores. For example, crow, pigs, bears.
Ways to a healthy tomorrow:
While many of us waste food unconsciously, there are many who do not get food or are malnourished. This is because there is insufficient food to provide each and every mouth in the world. Hence, we need to find ways to increase the yield of crops and assure that food is available easily to all. By doing this, our country will grow in terms of health and economics.