The word food actually refers to the gathering together of materials that are required for the sustenance of an individual’s life. The human body needs food to sustain itself; to grow, develop and multiply. There is no doubt about this, but no one can really live without food. What food does for us is the primary determining factor of how healthy we are. We cannot be expected to obtain nourishment without food, and it is most unlikely that we could ever go on living if we did not eat.
Food is any material consumed in the process of gathering food to provide the body with nutrients for its growth and maintenance. It includes proteins, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals or both, and is generally of plant, animal or fungi origin. The diet is made up of a combination of all these food types and the resultant foods are then classified as being eaten, like food, or as waste products, such as excreta or urine. There is considerable debate between nutritionists concerning which of these two classifications of foods, diet, which are the primary drivers of the chemical processes within our bodies, and which are the secondary drivers, the factors that control the amount of energy used and the transfer of nutrients throughout the body.
With advances in knowledge about the role of nutrition in ensuring optimal health and disease resistance, more attention is being devoted to nutrition security. Nutrition security basically means eating a balanced diet and making sure that this diet provides all the essential food nutrients required by the body to function normally. There are numerous programmes designed to create this balance, but in practice many people fall through the cracks, because they do not meet their specific needs. Some programmes fail to meet basic requirements and some even introduce foods that are not nutritionally adequate for the body. Others introduce foods that are technically inappropriate for the purposes intended. As a result, the provision of balanced diets in adequate quantities at regular intervals is frequently deficient in certain areas of the diet.