This approach, partly fueled by consumer demand, encourages biodiversity , local self-reliance and organic farming methods. Several organisations have begun calling for a new kind of agriculture in which agroecosystems provide food but also support vital ecosystem services so that soil fertility and biodiversity are maintained rather than compromised.
According to the International Water Management Institute and UNEP , well-managed agroecosystems not only provide food, fiber and animal products, they also provide services such as flood mitigation , groundwater recharge , erosion control and habitats for plants, birds, fish and other animals. Animals, specifically humans, have five different types of tastes: sweet , sour , salty , bitter , and umami. As animals have evolved , the tastes that provide the most energy sugar and fats are the most pleasant to eat while others, such as bitter , are not enjoyable. Generally regarded as the most pleasant taste, sweetness is almost always caused by a type of simple sugar such as glucose or fructose , or disaccharides such as sucrose , a molecule combining glucose and fructose.
Artificial sweeteners such as sucralose are used to mimic the sugar molecule, creating the sensation of sweet, without the calories. Other types of sugar include raw sugar , which is known for its amber color, as it is unprocessed. As sugar is vital for energy and survival, the taste of sugar is pleasant. The stevia plant contains a compound known as steviol which, when extracted, has times the sweetness of sugar while having minimal impact on blood sugar.
Sourness is caused by the taste of acids , such as vinegar in alcoholic beverages. Sour foods include citrus , specifically lemons , limes , and to a lesser degree oranges. Sour is evolutionarily significant as it is a sign for a food that may have gone rancid due to bacteria. Saltiness is the taste of alkali metal ions such as sodium and potassium. It is found in almost every food in low to moderate proportions to enhance flavor, although to eat pure salt is regarded as highly unpleasant.
There are many different types of salt, with each having a different degree of saltiness, including sea salt , fleur de sel , kosher salt , mined salt, and grey salt. Other than enhancing flavor, its significance is that the body needs and maintains a delicate electrolyte balance, which is the kidney 's function. Salt may be iodized, meaning iodine has been added to it, a necessary nutrient that promotes thyroid function.
Some canned foods, notably soups or packaged broths , tend to be high in salt as a means of preserving the food longer. Historically salt has long been used as a meat preservative as salt promotes water excretion. Similarly, dried foods also promote food safety. Bitterness is a sensation often considered unpleasant characterized by having a sharp, pungent taste. Unsweetened dark chocolate , caffeine , lemon rind, and some types of fruit are known to be bitter.
Umami , the Japanese word for delicious, is the least known in Western popular culture but has a long tradition in Asian cuisine. Umami is the taste of glutamates , especially monosodium glutamate MSG. Many scholars claim that the rhetorical function of food is to represent the culture of a country, and that it can be used as a form of communication. According to Goode, Curtis and Theophano, food "is the last aspect of an ethnic culture to be lost". Many cultures have a recognizable cuisine, a specific set of cooking traditions using various spices or a combination of flavors unique to that culture, which evolves over time.
Other differences include preferences hot or cold, spicy, etc. Many cultures have diversified their foods by means of preparation, cooking methods, and manufacturing. This also includes a complex food trade which helps the cultures to economically survive by way of food, not just by consumption. Various cultures throughout the world study the dietary analysis of food habits.
Ready To Enjoy
While evolutionarily speaking, as opposed to culturally, humans are omnivores , religion and social constructs such as morality , activism , or environmentalism will often affect which foods they will consume. Food is eaten and typically enjoyed through the sense of taste , the perception of flavor from eating and drinking. Certain tastes are more enjoyable than others, for evolutionary purposes. Aesthetically pleasing and eye-appealing food presentations can encourage people to consume foods. A common saying is that people "eat with their eyes". Food presented in a clean and appetizing way will encourage a good flavor, even if unsatisfactory.
Texture plays a crucial role in the enjoyment of eating foods. Contrasts in textures, such as something crunchy in an otherwise smooth dish, may increase the appeal of eating it. Common examples include adding granola to yogurt , adding croutons to a salad or soup , and toasting bread to enhance its crunchiness for a smooth topping, such as jam or butter. Another universal phenomenon regarding food is the appeal of contrast in taste and presentation. For example, such opposite flavors as sweetness and saltiness tend to go well together, as in kettle corn and nuts.
While many foods can be eaten raw, many also undergo some form of preparation for reasons of safety, palatability , texture , or flavor. At the simplest level this may involve washing, cutting, trimming, or adding other foods or ingredients, such as spices. It may also involve mixing, heating or cooling, pressure cooking , fermentation, or combination with other food.
In a home, most food preparation takes place in a kitchen. Some preparation is done to enhance the taste or aesthetic appeal; other preparation may help to preserve the food; others may be involved in cultural identity. A meal is made up of food which is prepared to be eaten at a specific time and place. The preparation of animal-based food usually involves slaughter , evisceration , hanging, portioning, and rendering. In developed countries, this is usually done outside the home in slaughterhouses , which are used to process animals en masse for meat production.
Many countries regulate their slaughterhouses by law. For example, the United States has established the Humane Slaughter Act of , which requires that an animal be stunned before killing. Strict interpretations of kashrut require the animal to be fully aware when its carotid artery is cut. On the local level, a butcher may commonly break down larger animal meat into smaller manageable cuts, and pre-wrap them for commercial sale or wrap them to order in butcher paper. In addition, fish and seafood may be fabricated into smaller cuts by a fish monger.
However, fish butchery may be done on board a fishing vessel and quick-frozen for preservation of quality. The term "cooking" encompasses a vast range of methods, tools, and combinations of ingredients to improve the flavor or digestibility of food. Cooking technique, known as culinary art , generally requires the selection, measurement, and combining of ingredients in an ordered procedure in an effort to achieve the desired result. Constraints on success include the variability of ingredients, ambient conditions, tools , and the skill of the individual cook.
Cooking requires applying heat to a food which usually, though not always, chemically changes the molecules, thus changing its flavor, texture , appearance, and nutritional properties. There is archaeological evidence of roasted foodstuffs at Homo erectus campsites dating from , years ago. Different cuisines will use different types of ovens. For example, Indian culture uses a tandoor oven, which is a cylindrical clay oven which operates at a single high temperature.
Classic Italian cuisine includes the use of a brick oven containing burning wood. Ovens may be wood-fired, coal-fired, gas , electric, or oil-fired. Various types of cook-tops are used as well. They carry the same variations of fuel types as the ovens mentioned above. In addition, many cultures use grills for cooking. A grill operates with a radiant heat source from below, usually covered with a metal grid and sometimes a cover.
An open pit barbecue in the American south is one example along with the American style outdoor grill fueled by wood, liquid propane, or charcoal along with soaked wood chips for smoking. In Argentina, an asado Spanish for "grilled" is prepared on a grill held over an open pit or fire made upon the ground, on which a whole animal or smaller cuts are grilled. Certain cultures highlight animal and vegetable foods in a raw state. Salads consisting of raw vegetables or fruits are common in many cuisines. Sashimi in Japanese cuisine consists of raw sliced fish or other meat, and sushi often incorporates raw fish or seafood.
Steak tartare and salmon tartare are dishes made from diced or ground raw beef or salmon, mixed with various ingredients and served with baguettes , brioche , or frites. Restaurants employ chefs to prepare the food, and waiters to serve customers at the table. Commercial eateries existed during the Roman period , with evidence of "thermopolia", a form of fast food restaurant, found in Pompeii ,  and urban sales of prepared foods may have existed in China during the Song dynasty. Packaged foods are manufactured outside the home for purchase. This can be as simple as a butcher preparing meat, or as complex as a modern international food industry.
Early food processing techniques were limited by available food preservation, packaging, and transportation. This mainly involved salting , curing , curdling, drying , pickling , fermenting , and smoking. It brought the advantages of pre-prepared time-saving food to the bulk of ordinary people who did not employ domestic servants. At the start of the 21st century, a two-tier structure has arisen, with a few international food processing giants controlling a wide range of well-known food brands.
There also exists a wide array of small local or national food processing companies. Computer-based control systems, sophisticated processing and packaging methods, and logistics and distribution advances can enhance product quality, improve food safety , and reduce costs. Britain 's need for food was especially well illustrated in World War II. Despite the implementation of food rationing , Britain remained dependent on food imports and the result was a long term engagement in the Battle of the Atlantic.
Food is traded and marketed on a global basis. The variety and availability of food is no longer restricted by the diversity of locally grown food or the limitations of the local growing season. In , over countries became signatories to the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in a dramatic increase in trade liberalization.
This included an agreement to reduce subsidies paid to farmers, underpinned by the WTO enforcement of agricultural subsidy , tariffs , import quotas , and settlement of trade disputes that cannot be bilaterally resolved. Trade liberalization has greatly affected world food trade.
Food marketing brings together the producer and the consumer. The marketing of even a single food product can be a complicated process involving many producers and companies. For example, fifty-six companies are involved in making one can of chicken noodle soup. These businesses include not only chicken and vegetable processors but also the companies that transport the ingredients and those who print labels and manufacture cans. In the pre-modern era, the sale of surplus food took place once a week when farmers took their wares on market day into the local village marketplace.
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Here food was sold to grocers for sale in their local shops for purchase by local consumers. Typically early grocery shops would be counter-based shops, in which purchasers told the shop-keeper what they wanted, so that the shop-keeper could get it for them. In the 20th century, supermarkets were born. Supermarkets brought with them a self service approach to shopping using shopping carts , and were able to offer quality food at lower cost through economies of scale and reduced staffing costs.
In the latter part of the 20th century, this has been further revolutionized by the development of vast warehouse-sized, out-of-town supermarkets, selling a wide range of food from around the world. Unlike food processors, food retailing is a two-tier market in which a small number of very large companies control a large proportion of supermarkets. The supermarket giants wield great purchasing power over farmers and processors, and strong influence over consumers.
In December , 37 countries faced food crises, and 20 had imposed some sort of food-price controls. In the s and s, farm subsidies and support programs allowed major grain exporting countries to hold large surpluses, which could be tapped during food shortages to keep prices down.
However, new trade policies had made agricultural production much more responsive to market demands, putting global food reserves at their lowest since Rising food prices in those years have been linked with social unrest around the world, including rioting in Bangladesh and Mexico,  and the Arab Spring. This was as a result of shifts in trade policy and restocking by major producers. More fundamental drivers of increased prices are the higher costs of fertiliser, diesel and labour. Parts of Asia see rural wages rise with potential large benefits for the 1. However, this negatively impacts more vulnerable groups who don't share in the economic boom, especially in Asian and African coastal cities.
The researchers said the threat means social-protection policies are needed to guard against price shocks. The research proposed that in the longer run, the rises present opportunities to export for Western African farmers with high potential for rice production to replace imports with domestic production. This has caused price fluctuations which are not strongly related to the actual supply of food, according to the United Nations. According to Olivier De Schutter , the UN special rapporteur on food, there was a rush by institutions to enter the food market following George W.
Bush 's Commodities Futures Modernization Act of The result of this financialisation of the commodities market is that the prices of the products respond increasingly to a purely speculative logic. This explains why in very short periods of time we see prices spiking or bubbles exploding, because prices are less and less determined by the real match between supply and demand.
Some experts have said that speculation has merely aggravated other factors, such as climate change , competition with bio-fuels and overall rising demand. Food deprivation leads to malnutrition and ultimately starvation. This is often connected with famine , which involves the absence of food in entire communities. This can have a devastating and widespread effect on human health and mortality. Rationing is sometimes used to distribute food in times of shortage, most notably during times of war. Starvation is a significant international problem.
Approximately million people are undernourished, and over 16, children die per day from hunger-related causes. Food aid can benefit people suffering from a shortage of food. It can be used to improve peoples' lives in the short term, so that a society can increase its standard of living to the point that food aid is no longer required. Sometimes a cycle of food aid dependence can develop.
Sometimes, food aid provisions will require certain types of food be purchased from certain sellers, and food aid can be misused to enhance the markets of donor countries. Foodborne illness , commonly called "food poisoning", is caused by bacteria , toxins , viruses , parasites , and prions. Roughly 7 million people die of food poisoning each year, with about 10 times as many suffering from a non-fatal version. Less commonly, acute adverse reactions can also occur if chemical contamination of food occurs, for example from improper storage, or use of non-food grade soaps and disinfectants.
Food can also be adulterated by a very wide range of articles known as "foreign bodies" during farming, manufacture, cooking, packaging, distribution, or sale. These foreign bodies can include pests or their droppings, hairs, cigarette butts, wood chips, and all manner of other contaminants. It is possible for certain types of food to become contaminated if stored or presented in an unsafe container, such as a ceramic pot with lead-based glaze.
Food poisoning has been recognized as a disease since as early as Hippocrates. Discovery of techniques for killing bacteria using heat, and other microbiological studies by scientists such as Louis Pasteur , contributed to the modern sanitation standards that are ubiquitous in developed nations today. This was further underpinned by the work of Justus von Liebig , which led to the development of modern food storage and food preservation methods.
Recommended measures for ensuring food safety include maintaining a clean preparation area with foods of different types kept separate, ensuring an adequate cooking temperature, and refrigerating foods promptly after cooking. Foods that spoil easily, such as meats , dairy , and seafood , must be prepared a certain way to avoid contaminating the people for whom they are prepared. As such, the rule of thumb is that cold foods such as dairy products should be kept cold and hot foods such as soup should be kept hot until storage.
Cold meats, such as chicken, that are to be cooked should not be placed at room temperature for thawing, at the risk of dangerous bacterial growth, such as Salmonella or E. Some people have allergies or sensitivities to foods which are not problematic to most people. This occurs when a person's immune system mistakes a certain food protein for a harmful foreign agent and attacks it. In some instances, traces of food in the air, too minute to be perceived through smell, have been known to provoke lethal reactions in extremely sensitive individuals.
Common food allergens are gluten , corn , shellfish mollusks , peanuts , and soy. The digestive complaints usually develop within half an hour of ingesting the allergen. Rarely, food allergies can lead to a medical emergency , such as anaphylactic shock , hypotension low blood pressure , and loss of consciousness. An allergen associated with this type of reaction is peanut, although latex products can induce similar reactions. Food contaminated with fungal growth may contain mycotoxins such as aflatoxins which may be found in contaminated corn and peanuts.
Other carcinogens identified in food include heterocyclic amines generated in meat when cooked at high temperature, polyaromatic hydrocarbons in charred meat and smoked fish, and nitrosamines generated from nitrites used as food preservatives in cured meat such as bacon. Anticarcinogens that may help prevent cancer can also be found in many food especially fruit and vegetables. Antioxidants are important groups of compounds that may help remove potentially harmful chemicals. It is however often difficult to identify the specific components in diet that serve to increase or decrease cancer risk since many food, such as beef steak and broccoli, contain low concentrations of both carcinogens and anticarcinogens.
They use the high quality evaluation methods to make the food become more safe. Many cultures hold some food preferences and some food taboos. Dietary choices can also define cultures and play a role in religion. For example, only kosher foods are permitted by Judaism , halal foods by Islam , and in Hinduism beef is restricted. This is highly related to a culture's cuisine.
Dietary habits play a significant role in the health and mortality of all humans. Imbalances between the consumed fuels and expended energy results in either starvation or excessive reserves of adipose tissue, known as body fat. Kwashiorkor and marasmus are childhood disorders caused by lack of dietary protein.
Many individuals limit what foods they eat for reasons of morality, or other habit. For instance, vegetarians choose to forgo food from animal sources to varying degrees. Others choose a healthier diet , avoiding sugars or animal fats and increasing consumption of dietary fiber and antioxidants. This has led to the emergence of a movement with a preference for organic and local food. Between the extremes of optimal health and death from starvation or malnutrition , there is an array of disease states that can be caused or alleviated by changes in diet.
Deficiencies, excesses, and imbalances in diet can produce negative impacts on health, which may lead to various health problems such as scurvy , obesity , or osteoporosis , diabetes , cardiovascular diseases as well as psychological and behavioral problems. The science of nutrition attempts to understand how and why specific dietary aspects influence health. Nutrients in food are grouped into several categories. Macronutrients are fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Micronutrients are the minerals and vitamins. Additionally, food contains water and dietary fiber.
As previously discussed, the body is designed by natural selection to enjoy sweet and fattening foods for evolutionary diets, ideal for hunters and gatherers. Thus, sweet and fattening foods in nature are typically rare and are very pleasurable to eat. In modern times, with advanced technology , enjoyable foods are easily available to consumers. Unfortunately, this promotes obesity in adults and children alike. Some countries list a legal definition of food, often referring them with the word foodstuff.
These countries list food as any item that is to be processed, partially processed, or unprocessed for consumption. The listing of items included as food include any substance intended to be, or reasonably expected to be, ingested by humans. In addition to these foodstuffs, drink, chewing gum , water, or other items processed into said food items are part of the legal definition of food.
Items not included in the legal definition of food include animal feed , live animals unless being prepared for sale in a market , plants prior to harvesting, medicinal products, cosmetics , tobacco and tobacco products, narcotic or psychotropic substances , and residues and contaminants. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Food disambiguation. Substances consumed as nutrition. See also: Herb and spice.
mental_floss - November - December 2011
Main articles: Animal source foods and Food chain. Main article: Adulterated food. Main article: Camping food. Main article: Diet food. Main article: Finger food. Main article: Fresh food. Main article: Frozen food. Main article: Functional food. Main article: Health food.
Main article: Kosher foods. Main article: Live food. Main article: Medical food. Main article: Natural foods. Main article: Negative-calorie food. Main article: Organic food. Main article: Peasant foods. Main article: Prison food. Main article: Seasonal food. Main article: Shelf-stable food. Main article: Space food. Main article: Traditional food. Main article: Whole food.
Main articles: Agriculture , Food industry , and Genetically modified food. Main article: Taste. Main articles: Cuisine , Regional cuisine , and Global cuisines. Main article: Food presentation. Main article: Outline of food preparation. Main article: Cooking. Main article: Cookware and bakeware. Main article: Restaurant. Main article: Food manufacture. See also: Population density. Main article: Food marketing. See also: Food vs. Main article: Food aid. Main article: Food safety. Main article: Food allergy. Main article: Diet nutrition. Main article: Avitaminosis. This section is in list format, but may read better as prose.
You can help by converting this section , if appropriate. Editing help is available. October Food portal Drink portal Agriculture and Agronomy portal. Encyclopedia Britannica. Archived from the original on Retrieved National Geographic Society. Asia Pacific Business Press Inc. The Naked Scientists, University of Cambridge. Archived from the original on 6 May Retrieved 12 May Farmers Branch. Retrieved 27 November Finger Food.
Tuttle Publishing. Arrowsmith-Brown trans. The Freezing Preservation of Foods pp. Advances in food refrigeration. Leatherhead Food Research Association Publishing. The Guardian. Retrieved February 10, Long-standing advice to consumers to freeze food on the day of purchase is to be changed by a leading supermarket chain, as part of a national initiative to further reduce food waste.
The initiative is backed by the government's waste advisory body, the Waste and Resources Action Programme Wrap [ November Retrieved 11 October July Government of Japan. Vitamin and mineral requirements in human nutrition PDF 2. Geneva: World Health Organization. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. World Health Organization. Retrieved 6 January European Commission. Retrieved May 16, The New American Food Economy. Journal of Corporation Law, 39 3 , — Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Food and Agriculture Organization.
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CBS Interactive. Retrieved 18 September University of California, Berkeley. Organic foods are not necessarily pesticide-free. Organic foods are produced using only certain pesticides with specific ingredients. Organic pesticides tend to have substances like soaps, lime sulfur and hydrogen peroxide as ingredients. Not all natural substances are allowed in organic agriculture; some chemicals like arsenic, strychnine, and tobacco dust nicotine sulfate are prohibited. European Commission: Agriculture and Rural Development.
Retrieved 10 December The British Journal of Nutrition. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford. Annals of Internal Medicine. UK Food Standards Agency. Archived from the original on 5 June Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. Eating Right in the Renaissance. University of California Press. Retrieved 19 August Retrieved 10 August The New York Times. During the first use, more iron leaches than at later uses, so the iron ingot would be most effective during the first few uses. The effective lifespan of the ingot remains to be determined.
Our findings correlate well with the previous research on the iron content of foods prepared with iron pots: More acidic, moister foods cooked in iron vessels have a higher iron content than controls. Lower pH correlates well with higher iron content. Distilled water with a small amount of lemon juice had a pH of 3.
The two soup preparations were also acidic: the fish soup had a pH of 4. Both had significantly higher iron concentrations than controls. Conversely, the least acidic preparations had the lowest iron concentrations, even when cooked with an iron ingot: Distilled water had a pH of 7. Thus, instructions for use should be modified as it is now clear that benefit is maximized when using the iron ingot to prepare boiled drinking water with lemon, followed by preparation of acidified soups.
Boiled drinking water would be consumed in greater quantities than soup; thus, an individual would benefit more using the ingot to prepare drinking water. Iron deficiency and IDA in Cambodia constitute a severe public health problem requiring immediate attention from the government and organizations responsible for community health.
The iron ingot and other interventions that utilize adventitious iron sources to improve iron intake may provide an alternative to the relatively costly and unsustainable supplementation programs currently in place. The ingot must undergo further testing in representative households and communities to determine both the efficacy and effectiveness of this possible preventive option.
Volume 16 , Issue The full text of this article hosted at iucr. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username.
Free Access. Christopher V. Alastair J. Cate E. Corresponding Author Christopher V. Tools Request permission Export citation Add to favorites Track citation. Share Give access Share full text access. Share full text access. Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article. Summary en Objectives To investigate the effect of cooking with an iron ingot on the iron content of several water and Cambodian food preparations.
Experimental methods The iron content of five water or food preparations, cooked in two types of pots either with or without an iron ingot, was determined. Figure 1 Open in figure viewer PowerPoint. Statistical analysis The iron content of the water and food preparations was averaged over the replicate samples to determine the mean and standard deviation of the iron content for each. Group Iron Requirements mg per day Lemon Water 1. Figure 2 Open in figure viewer PowerPoint.
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