What Is Food and How Does It Work?



The substance that we use for energy, growth, and maintenance is called food. Plants and animals produce some of their own food, but most of us obtain our food from other organisms. Plants make food through photosynthesis, and other animals obtain it by eating them. Animals get their food from meat, fish, and dairy products, and we obtain our energy from other sources, such as seeds. But what is food really, and how does it work?

The United States has a reportable food registry that allows us to see recalls of tainted products. Fortunately, the FDA generally makes a public announcement only a few days after the recall occurs. Fresh Express recently recalled 225 salad products across eighteen states due to possible Listeria contamination. Listeria can cause serious, and sometimes fatal, infections in humans. It has also been linked to stillbirths and miscarriages.

Recalled food may be stored for several months or even years. The last time you bought a contaminated food, it was likely still in your freezer. If it does, you can throw it away or return it to the store where you bought it. It’s best to avoid contact with recalled products until they’re thawed and tested for safety. And don’t leave contaminated food out on the counter. Just keep it out of the reach of children.

Throughout human history, humans have adapted to a wide variety of primary sources of food. The primary methods of feeding ourselves were agriculture and hunting. Later, the food industry began to respond to market demands for more complex, refined products. This evolution in the food industry has created major scientific and technological challenges that require the work of highly-trained scientists. In addition to this, the rise of convenience foods means that we rely on ready-to-eat foods more than ever. As a result, we are now responsible for the quality, safety, and nutrition of these foods.

To keep sodium intake low, children should eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Avoid fruit juices. If you do buy fruit juice, be sure to choose 100 percent fruit juice with no added sugars. Also, limit the amount of fruit juice that your child consumes. When purchasing canned fruits, choose fruit that says “light” or is packed in its own juice, as it contains less added sugar. One cup of dried fruit is one serving; do not overdo it or your child may get too many calories.

Some companies have issued recalls. The Spice House, for example, is recalling its Sichuan Chili BBQ Rub because it may contain undeclared sesame. Other companies, such as Conagra Brands Inc., are recalling certain varieties of Birds Eye Broccoli Tots. These may contain metal fragments or small rocks. And the CDC is continuing its investigation into the Dole recall. However, a number of other recalls have already occurred.

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