Food is any substance that we eat to provide
nutritional support for our body. It usually consists
of plant or animal origin, that contains essential
nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins,
vitamins, or minerals. We take them as sources of
energy, to stimulate growth, and maintain life.
It has been said that man does not die but that
he kills himself by overeating. It is puzzling that food
which sustains life can also kill life. What it means
is that if we are given to overeating over a period of
time, our arteries can be clogged up with fats and
we can die of coronary diseases. What is true of
the world is that some die of overeating while some
others die of starvation.
Historically, people obtained food from hunting
and gathering, farming, ranching, and fishing, known
as agriculture. Today, most of the food energy
consumed by the world population is supplied by the
food industry operated by multinational corporations
using intensive farming and industrial agriculture
Food sustains life. It is indispensable for life. If
you go without food for a couple of days, you will
be like an invalid, immobile and incapable of doing
anything. Yet, there are people who go on hunger
strike and risk death to plead a cause. Ladies who
want to lose weight will cut down on their necessary
food intake and suffer side effects. Some even have
problems of malnutrition. Fasting or abstaining from
food is practised for religious reasons.
The type of food that people take depends on
the climatic conditions they live in and the type of
soil in the country. People who live in the tropics
and equatorial countries take rice as their staple
while people in temperate countries take wheat and
potatoes for carbohydrates and meat for protein.
Meat gives them the protein to withstand the cold
weather. Religion also determines the type of food
people take. Muslims do not take pork while Hindus
do not take beef. Some people follow a vegetarian
diet due to their religion. Still others will eat anything
and there are those who go to the extreme of eating
what they call exotic meat, that is, the flesh of rare
and wild animals.
Some food has more nutritional value than others.
While meat provides lots of protein, vegetables
contain a lot of minerals and vitamins. It is always
advisable to follow a balanced diet. Food can be
cooked in a number of ways - fried, steamed, baked
or grilled. The way food is prepared depends on
one's taste and interest. While meat has to be cooked
properly, vegetables can be eaten raw or cooked.
Food serves two main purposes - it satisfies
hunger and provides nutritional requirements for
the body. It can provide pleasure and there are
people who eat out of boredom. A normal healthy
man will not reject food. The desire for food can be
psychological and there are many among us who
become frantic when food is not easily available. To
them, eating has become a habit and they believe
that without food at frequent intervals, they will lack
energy and cannot carry on with their work.
Food is indispensable to life. We eat to live not
live to eat.