food Definition and Topics - 9 Discussions

Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or fungal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism's cells to provide energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth. Different species of animals have different feeding behaviours that satisfy the needs of their unique metabolisms, often evolved to fill a specific ecological niche within specific geographical contexts.
Omnivorous humans are highly adaptable and have adapted to obtain food in many different ecosystems. Historically, humans secured food through two main methods: hunting and gathering and agriculture. As agricultural technologies increased, humans settled into agriculture lifestyles with diets shaped by the agriculture opportunities in their geography. Geographic and cultural differences has led to creation of numerous cuisines and culinary arts, including a wide array of ingredients, herbs, spices, techniques, and dishes. As cultures have mixed through forces like international trade and globalization, ingredients have become more widely available beyond their geographic and cultural origins, creating a cosmopolitan exchange of different food traditions and practices.
Today, the majority of the food energy required by the ever-increasing population of the world is supplied by the industrial food industry, which produces food with intensive agriculture and distributes it through complex food processing and food distribution systems. This system of conventional agriculture relies heavily on fossil fuels, which means that the food and agricultural system is one of the major contributors to climate change, accountable for as much as 37% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Addressing the carbon intensity of the food system and food waste are important mitigation measures in the global response to climate change.
The food system has significant impacts on a wide range of other social and political issues including: sustainability, biological diversity, economics, population growth, water supply, and access to food. The right to food is a human right derived from the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), recognizing the "right to an adequate standard of living, including adequate food", as well as the "fundamental right to be free from hunger". Because of these fundamental rights, food security is often a priority international policy activity; for example Sustainable Development Goal 2 "Zero hunger" is meant to eliminate hunger by 2030. Food safety and food security are monitored by international agencies like the International Association for Food Protection, World Resources Institute, World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization, and International Food Information Council, and are often subject to national regulation by institutions, like the Food and Drug Administration in the United States.

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  1. Boltzman Oscillation

    Question: What happens to absorbed light?

    Suppose I have two apples, one is white and the other is black. Both apples are exactly the same except for their colors. The black apple is darker than the white apple because it absorbs more energy than the white apple, correct? Would that mean that the black apple would have a higher energy...
  2. M

    Non-caloric essential nutrients big vs small animals

    It is true that big animals contain more calories than small animals. However, are the figures for the content of essential nutrients that are not calories different? Such nutrients may be limiting factors and require foraging strategies that would be suboptimal from a simple calory point of...
  3. A

    I Growing food in space - a 3rd concept

    To grow food in space, I have read about two designs of greenhouse. One is a pressurised greenhouse with wide expanses of thickened glass. The other is indoor stacks of shelves with LEDs driven from solar PVs outside. But would this third design work? Have a rotating mirror to focus light into...
  4. jackwhirl

    Are you an egg peeling super-human?

    I've had this question for some time now, and I'd really like to find an answer. What is the best way to peel a hard-boiled egg? I don't consider myself -bad- at peeling eggs. It just seems to be a matter of luck. Sometimes the shell comes off cleanly and easily, and sometimes the eggshell...
  5. X

    Chemistry What to take after BS Chemistry?

    Previously, I am taking Double Major: Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. I have 60 units before but removed the engineering course so now i have 20 units left. This is because of financial reasons and personally I think in my college, most of the professors in chem engineering department...
  6. ZapperZ

    Your Local Cuisine

    I considered posting this in the Food thread, but I think it might be better for it to be in its own separate thread. First of all, let me clarify that I love, LOVE ethnic cuisine and foods that are local to a particular region. I find that I learn a lot about groups of people or the local...
  7. A

    How are food flavors made?

    I'm curious, in many flavors used in food (such as vanilla extract and other "natural flavors"), ethanol is used as a solvent to extract the flavors. Is this ethanol synthetic ethanol, or do companies normally get it from the wine/beer industries?
  8. A

    Does ethanol evaporate in dried food?

    I was wondering, if ethanol is used in a food, as it commonly is with food flavorings (as a solvent), and that food is then dried out such that It is made into a powder or cereal or something, does all the ethanol completely evaporate? I know ethanol is very volatile and has a low boiling...
  9. A

    The Food Thread

    Calling all food lovers and connoisseurs of PF . A thread to post anything and everything about food. Share your favourite recipes, your kind of cuisine and favourite dishes, dining experiences, or even your kitchen antics and fiascos. Let the food fest begin and remember, gluttony is not a...