What Is Food?

The word food can have many different interpretations, depending on who you ask. It can mean the food we eat; the food that we make by combining living things; the food we consume as a result of physical processes; and even the money that we spend for the food we consume. Essentially, food is any material consumed in order to provide nutrition to an organism. In this article, food is broadly defined as any material that nourishes an organisms’ body, but the term food has its limits.


Food from plants, animals, fungi, microorganisms, and other sources are used to provide nutrition to humans and other living things. When we refer to food, we typically think of it as a singular substance, a single source of nutrition. However, food is often produced in combination with secondary or original foods, or other materials that enhance its nutritional quality. There are many types of food, including cereals, pulses, fruits, vegetables, legumes, mushrooms, nuts, meats, dairy products, and grains. In this article, we will only discuss food produced by living things.

One type of food that you may not be aware of, but is very important, is water. Without adequate levels of water, nobody can survive. For example, you need to drink plenty of water to stay healthy and hydrated, since the majority of the food that you eat will be dehydrated or boiled before you eat it. Water also plays a crucial role in the nutritional value of grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and legumes. These foods contain a variety of nutrients, which is why they form the base of a healthy diet.