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Chapter 1: Food: Where Does It Come From? (Class VI NCERT Science)

Food is one of the most important thing needed for us to live. Food provides energy, it helps the body in its growth and development, and it also protects our body from various diseases.

Where do we get the food we need?

Sources of Food:

The basic sources of food are from plants and animals.

PLANTS AS FOOD SOURCE:

Green plants are called producers as they can prepare their own food using sunlight. We obtain a major part of our food from plants like rice, wheat, maize, fruits and vegetables.

The parts of plants that can be eaten as food (edible parts) differ from plant to plant. In some cases roots are edible, for some plants leaves are eaten as food while in others flowers are edible. Some plants may also have more than one edible parts.

1. LEAVES AS FOOD: The leaves of certain plants such as lettuce, coriander, cabbage, mint and fenugreek are consumed by us.

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2. STEM AS FOOD: Some stems consumed as food are potato (underground stem), ginger (underground stem), garlic (underground stem), onion (underground stem) and sugarcane. Stem of banana is also consumed as food in some parts of India.

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3. ROOTS AS FOOD: Roots of radish, turnip, beetroot and carrot are edible.

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4. FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: Plants also provide us with fruits and vegetables to eat. For example: watermelon mango, apple, pumpkin, kiwi, gourd, etc.

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5. FLOWERS: Flowers of certain plants like broccoli, cauliflower, artichoke and banana are also consumed by us.

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6. SEEDS: Coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom and pepper are the seeds of the plants that are used for making spices. Pulses such as moong beans, chickpeas and other cereals are the seeds of plants. The wheat and rice grains that we commonly consume are also seeds.

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ANIMALS AS FOOD SOURCE:

We also eat a large variety of food from animals. Different varieties of animal products are used as food across the world. Example: milk and its products, honey, eggs, meat etc.

1. MILK: Milk contains calcium which is essential for development of teeth and bones. We get milk from animals such as cow, goat, camel and buffalo. Milk is also known as a complete food as it has all the nutrients present in it in adequate amount.

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The products that are obtained from milk are called milk products or dairy products. Examples: paneer, curd, butter, cheese and cream.

2. HONEY: Honey is a thick, sweet substance produced by bees from the nectar of flower. It consists of sugar, minerals and water. It is stored in beehives.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

3. EGGS: Eggs are obtained mostly from hens and are a rich source of proteins and vitamins.

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4. MEAT: Meat of various animals like hen, fish, crab, goat, etc. is commonly eaten as food. It is a rich source of protein.

Eating habits of Animals

The animals are classified into different categories depending upon the food that they eat.

  1. Herbivores: The animals that feed of plants and plant product are known as herbivores or herbivorous animals. Examples: cow, goat, sheep, etc.

  2. The animals that depend on other animals for their food requirements are known carnivores or carnivorous animals. Examples: lion, jackal, wolf, dog, etc.

  3. Omnivores: The animals that feed on both plants and animals and their products are known as omnivores or omnivorous animals. Examples: monkeys, bear, etc.

Keywords:

  1. Ingredients: Food items or substances that are combined together to prepare a dish are called ingredients.

  2. Edible: Something that can be consumed or eaten is edible.

  3. Nectar: Sweet juice found in flowers, used to make honey, is known as nectar.

  4. Sprouted seeds: Seeds, when soaked in water, swell up and a white thread like structure (tiny plant) starts emerging from it. Such seeds are known as sprouted seeds.

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