Substance consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate, fat, and other nutrients used in the body of an organism to sustain growth and vital processes and to furnish energy. The absorption and utilization of food by the body is fundamental to nutrition and is facilitated by digestion. Plants, which convert solar energy to food by photosynthesis, are the primary food source. Animals that feed on plants often serve as sources of food for other animals. To learn more about the sequence of transfers of matter and energy in the form of food from organism to organism, see food chain.
Hunting and gathering, horticulture, pastoralism, and the development of agriculture are the primary means by which humans have adapted to their environments to feed themselves. Food has long served as a carrier of culture in human societies and has been a driving force for globalization. This was especially the case during the early phases of European trade and colonial expansion, when foods such as the hot red pepper, corn (maize), and sweet potatoes spread throughout Europe to Africa and Asia.
halvah, also spelled helva, any of several confections of Balkan and eastern Mediterranean origin, made with honey, flour, butter, and sesame seeds or semolina, pressed into loaf form or cut into squares. Halvah is made with a variety of colourings and flavourings. Its texture is characteristically gritty and crisp.
in its basic form, slices of meat, cheese, or other food placed between two slices of bread. Although this mode of consumption must be as old as meat and bread, the name was adopted only in the 18th century for John Montagu, 4th earl of Sandwich. According to an often-cited account from a contemporary French travel book, Sandwich had sliced meat and bread brought to him at the gaming table on one occasion so that he could continue to play as he ate; it seems more likely, however, that he ate these sandwiches as he worked at his desk or that the world became aware of them when he requested them in London society. His title lent the preparation cachet, and soon it was fashionable to serve sandwiches on the European continent, and the word was incorporated into the French language. Since that time the sandwich has been incorporated into virtually every cuisine of the West by virtue of its simplicity of preparation, portability, and endless variety.