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Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism's cells to provide energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth.
Historically, humans secured food through two methods: hunting and gathering and agriculture. Today, the majority of the food energy required by the ever increasing population of the world is supplied by the food industry.
Food safety and food security are monitored by agencies like the International Association for Food Protection, World Resources Institute, World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization, and International Food Information Council. They address issues such as sustainability, biological diversity, climate change, nutritional economics, population growth, water supply, and access to food.
The right to food is a human right derived from the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), recognizing the "right to an adequate standard of living, including adequate food", as well as the "fundamental right to be free from hunger".
Most food has its origin in plants. Some food is obtained directly from plants; but even animals that are used as food sources are raised by feeding them food derived from plants. Cereal grain is a staple food that provides more food energy worldwide than any other type of crop. Corn (maize), wheat, and rice ? in all of their varieties ? account for 87% of all grain production worldwide. Most of the grain that is produced worldwide is fed to livestock.
Some foods not from animal or plant sources include various edible fungi, especially mushrooms. Fungi and ambient bacteria are used in the preparation of fermented and pickled foods like leavened bread, alcoholic drinks, cheese, pickles, kombucha, and yogurt. Another example is blue-green algae such as Spirulina. Inorganic substances such as salt, baking soda and cream of tartar are used to preserve or chemically alter an ingredient.
Many plants and plant parts are eaten as food and around 2,000 plant species are cultivated for food. Many of these plant species have several distinct cultivars.
Seeds of plants are a good source of food for animals, including humans, because they contain the nutrients necessary for the plant's initial growth, including many healthful fats, such as omega fats. In fact, the majority of food consumed by human beings are seed-based foods. Edible seeds include cereals (corn, wheat, rice, et cetera), legumes (beans, peas, lentils, et cetera), and nuts. Oilseeds are often pressed to produce rich oils - sunflower, flaxseed, rapeseed (including canola oil), sesame, et cetera.
Seeds are typically high in unsaturated fats and, in moderation, are considered a health food. However, not all seeds are edible. Large seeds, such as those from a lemon, pose a choking hazard, while seeds from cherries and apples contain cyanide which could be poisonous only if consumed in large volumes.
Fruits are the ripened ovaries of plants, including the seeds within. Many plants and animals have coevolved such that the fruits of the former are an attractive food source to the latter, because animals that eat the fruits may excrete the seeds some distance away. Fruits, therefore, make up a significant part of the diets of most cultures. Some botanical fruits, such as tomatoes, pumpkins, and eggplants, are eaten as vegetables. (For more information, see list of fruits.)
Vegetables are a second type of plant matter that is commonly eaten as food. These include root vegetables (potatoes and carrots), bulbs (onion family), leaf vegetables (spinach and lettuce), stem vegetables (bamboo shoots and asparagus), and inflorescence vegetables (globe artichokes and broccoli and other vegetables such as cabbage or cauliflower).
Food products produced by animals include milk produced by mammary glands, which in many cultures is drunk or processed into dairy products (cheese, butter, etc.). In addition, birds and other animals lay eggs, which are often eaten, and bees produce honey, a reduced nectar from flowers, which is a popular sweetener in many cultures. Some cultures consume blood, sometimes in the form of blood sausage, as a thickener for sauces, or in a cured, salted form for times of food scarcity, and others use blood in stews such as jugged hare.
Some cultures and people do not consume meat or animal food products for cultural, dietary, health, ethical, or ideological reasons. Vegetarians choose to forgo food from animal sources to varying degrees. Vegans do not consume any foods that are or contain ingredients from an animal source.
Adulteration is a legal term meaning that a food product fails to meet the legal standards. One form of adulteration is an addition of another substance to a food item in order to increase the quantity of the food item in raw form or prepared form, which may result in the loss of actual quality of food item. These substances may be either available food items or non-food items. Among meat and meat products some of the items used to adulterate are water or ice, carcasses, or carcasses of animals other than the animal meant to be consumed.
Camping food includes ingredients used to prepare food suitable for backcountry camping and backpacking. The foods differ substantially from the ingredients found in a typical home kitchen. The primary differences relate to campers' and backpackers' special needs for foods that have appropriate cooking time, perishability, weight, and nutritional content.
Freeze-drying requires the use of heavy machinery and is not something that most campers are able to do on their own. Freeze-dried ingredients are often considered superior to dehydrated ingredients however, because they rehydrate at camp faster and retain more flavor than their dehydrated counterparts. Freeze-dried ingredients take so little time to rehydrate that they can often be eaten without cooking them first and have a texture similar to a crunchy chip.
Dehydration can reduce the weight of the food by sixty to ninety percent by removing water through evaporation. Some foods dehydrate well, such as onions, peppers, and tomatoes. Dehydration often produces a more compact, albeit slightly heavier, end result than freeze-drying.
Surplus precooked military Meals, Meals, Ready-to-Eat (MREs) are sometimes used by campers. These meals contain precooked foods in retort pouches. A retort pouch is a plastic and metal foil laminate pouch that is used as an alternative to traditional industrial canning methods.
Diet food (or "dietetic food") refers to any food or beverage whose recipe is altered to reduce fat, carbohydrates, abhor/adhore sugar in order to make it part of a weight loss program or diet. Such foods are usually intended to assist in weight loss or a change in body type, although bodybuilding supplements are designed to aid in gaining weight or muscle.
The process of making a diet version of a food usually requires finding an acceptable low-food-energy substitute for some high-food-energy ingredient. This can be as simple as replacing some or all of the food's sugar with a sugar substitute as is common with diet soft drinks such as Coca-Cola (for example Diet Coke). In some snacks, the food may be baked instead of fried thus reducing the food energy. In other cases, low-fat ingredients may be used as replacements.
In whole grain foods, the higher fiber content effectively displaces some of the starch component of the flour. Since certain fibers have no food energy, this results in a modest energy reduction. Another technique relies on the intentional addition of other reduced-food-energy ingredients, such as resistant starch or dietary fiber, to replace part of the flour and achieve a more significant energy reduction.
Finger food is food meant to be eaten directly using the hands, in contrast to food eaten with a knife and fork, spoon, chopsticks, or other utensils. In some cultures, food is almost always eaten with the hands; for example, Ethiopian cuisine is eaten by rolling various dishes up in injera bread. Foods considered street foods are frequently, though not exclusively, finger foods.
In the western world, finger foods are often either appetizers (hors d'?uvres) or entree/main course items. Examples of these are miniature meat pies, sausage rolls, sausages on sticks, cheese and olives on sticks, chicken drumsticks or wings, spring rolls, miniature quiches, samosas, sandwiches, Merenda or other such based foods, such as pitas or items in buns, bhajjis, potato wedges, vol au vents, several other such small items and risotto balls (arancini). Other well-known foods that are generally eaten with the hands include hamburgers, pizza, Chips, hot dogs, fruit and bread.
In East Asia, foods like pancakes or flatbreads (bing ?) and street foods such as chuan (?, also pronounced chuan) are often eaten with the hands.
Fresh food is food which has not been preserved and has not spoiled yet. For vegetables and fruits, this means that they have been recently harvested and treated properly postharvest; for meat, it has recently been slaughtered and butchered; for fish, it has been recently caught or harvested and kept cold.
Freezing food preserves it from the time it is prepared to the time it is eaten. Since early times, farmers, fishermen, and trappers have preserved grains and produce in unheated buildings during the winter season. Freezing food slows down decomposition by turning residual moisture into ice, inhibiting the growth of most bacterial species. In the food commodity industry, there are two processes: mechanical and cryogenic (or flash freezing). The freezing kinetics is important to preserve the food quality and texture. Quicker freezing generates smaller ice crystals and maintains cellular structure. Cryogenic freezing is the quickest freezing technology available due to the ultra low liquid nitrogen temperature .
Preserving food in domestic kitchens during modern times is achieved using household freezers. Accepted advice to householders was to freeze food on the day of purchase. An initiative by a supermarket group in 2012 (backed by the UK's Waste & Resources Action Programme) promotes the freezing of food "as soon as possible up to the product's 'use by' date". The Food Standards Agency was reported as supporting the change, providing the food had been stored correctly up to that time.
A functional food is a food given an additional function (often one related to health-promotion or disease prevention) by adding new ingredients or more of existing ingredients. The term may also apply to traits purposely bred into existing edible plants, such as purple or gold potatoes having enriched anthocyanin or carotenoid contents, respectively. Functional foods may be "designed to have physiological benefits and/or reduce the risk of chronic disease beyond basic nutritional functions, and may be similar in appearance to conventional food and consumed as part of a regular diet".
The term was first used in Japan in the 1980s where there is a government approval process for functional foods called Foods for Specified Health Use (FOSHU).
Health food is food marketed to provide human health effects beyond a normal healthy diet required for human nutrition. Foods marketed as health foods may be part of one or more categories, such as natural foods, organic foods, whole foods, vegetarian foods or dietary supplements. These products may be sold in health food stores or in the health food or organic sections of grocery stores.
For people who are healthy, a healthy diet is not complicated and contains mostly fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and includes little to no processed food and sweetened beverages. The requirements for a healthy diet can be met from a variety of plant-based and animal-based foods, although a non-animal source of vitamin B12 is needed for those following a vegan diet. Various nutrition guides are published by medical and governmental institutions to educate individuals on what they should be eating to be healthy. Nutrition facts labels are also mandatory in some countries to allow consumers to choose between foods based on the components relevant to health.
A healthy lifestyle includes getting exercise every day along with eating a healthy diet. A healthy lifestyle may lower disease risks, such as obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cancer.
There are specialized healthy diets, called medical nutrition therapy, for people with various diseases or conditions. There are also prescientific ideas about such specialized diets, as in dietary therapy in traditional Chinese medicine.
The World Health Organization (WHO) makes the following 5 recommendations with respect to both populations and individuals:
Kosher foods are those that conform to the Jewish dietary regulations of kashrut (dietary law), primarily derived from Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Food that may be consumed according to halakha (law) is termed kosher () in English, from the Ashkenazi pronunciation of the Hebrew term kashér (), meaning "fit" (in this context, fit for consumption). Food that is not in accordance with law is called treif (; , derived from tr?fáh) meaning "torn."
Live food is living food for carnivorous or omnivorous animals kept in captivity; in other words, small animals such as insects or mice fed to larger carnivorous or omnivorous species kept in either in a zoo or as pet.
Live food is commonly used as feed for a variety of species of exotic pets and zoo animals, ranging from alligators to various snakes, frogs and lizards, but also including other, non-reptile, non-amphibian carnivores and omnivores (for instance, skunks, which are omnivorous mammals, can be technically be fed a limited amount of live food, though this is not known to be a common practice). Common live food ranges from crickets (used as an inexpensive form of feed for carnivorous and omnivorous reptiles such as bearded dragons and commonly available in pet stores for this reason), waxworms, mealworms and to a lesser extent cockroaches and locusts, to small birds and mammals such as mice or chickens.
Medical foods are foods that are specially formulated and intended for the dietary management of a disease that has distinctive nutritional needs that cannot be met by normal diet alone. In the United States they were defined in the Food and Drug Administration's 1988 Orphan Drug Act Amendments and are subject to the general food and safety labeling requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. In Europe the European Food Safety Authority established definitions for "foods for special medical purposes" (FSMPs) in 2015.
Medical foods, called "food for special medical purposes" in Europe, are distinct from the broader category of foods for special dietary use, from traditional foods that bear a health claim, and from dietary supplements. In order to be considered a medical food the product must, at a minimum:
Medical foods can be classified into the following categories:
Natural foods and "all natural foods" are widely used terms in food labeling and marketing with a variety of definitions, most of which are vague. The term is often assumed to imply foods that are not processed and whose ingredients are all natural products (in the chemist's sense of that term), thus conveying an appeal to nature. But the lack of standards in most jurisdictions means that the term assures nothing. In some countries, the term "natural" is defined and enforced. In others, such as the United States, it is not enforced.
?Natural foods? are often assumed to be foods that are not processed, or do not contain any food additives, or do not contain particular additives such as hormones, antibiotics, sweeteners, food colors, or flavorings that were not originally in the food. In fact, many people (63%) when surveyed showed a preference for products labeled "natural" compared to the unmarked counterparts, based on the common belief (86% of polled consumers) that the term "natural" indicated that the food does not contain any artificial ingredients. The terms are variously used and misused on labels and in advertisements.
A negative-calorie food is food that supposedly requires more food energy to be digested than the food provides. Its thermic effect or specific dynamic action ? the caloric "cost" of digesting the food ? would be greater than its food energy content. Despite its recurring popularity in dieting guides, there is no scientific evidence supporting the idea that any food is calorically negative. While some chilled beverages are calorically negative, the effect is minimal and drinking large amounts of water can be dangerous.
Organic food is food produced by methods that comply with the standards of organic farming. Standards vary worldwide, but organic farming in general features practices that strive to cycle resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Organizations regulating organic products may restrict the use of certain pesticides and fertilizers in farming. In general, organic foods are also usually not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents or synthetic food additives.
Currently, the European Union, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and many other countries require producers to obtain special certification in order to market food as organic within their borders. In the context of these regulations, organic food is produced in a way that complies with organic standards set by regional organizations, national governments and international organizations. Although the produce of kitchen gardens may be organic, selling food with an organic label is regulated by governmental food safety authorities, such as the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) or European Commission (EC).
Fertilizing and the use of pesticides in conventional farming has caused, and is causing, enormous damage worldwide to local ecosystems, biodiversity, groundwater and drinking water supplies, and sometimes farmer health and fertility. These environmental, economic and health issues are intended to be minimized or avoided in organic farming. From a consumers perspective, there is not sufficient evidence in scientific and medical literature to support claims that organic food is safer or healthier to eat than conventionally grown food. While there may be some differences in the nutrient and antinutrient contents of organically- and conventionally-produced food, the variable nature of food production and handling makes it difficult to generalize results. Claims that organic food tastes better are generally not supported by tests.
Peasant foods are dishes specific to a particular culture, made from accessible and inexpensive ingredients, and usually prepared and seasoned to make them more palatable. They often form a significant part of the diets of people who live in poverty, or have a lower income compared to the average for their society or country.
Peasant foods have been described as being the diet of peasants, that is, tenant or poorer farmers and their farm workers, and by extension, of other cash-poor people. They may use ingredients, such as offal and less-tender cuts of meat, which are not as marketable as a cash crop. Characteristic recipes often consist of hearty one-dish meals, in which chunks of meat and various vegetables are eaten in a savory broth, with bread or other staple food. Sausages are also amenable to varied readily available ingredients, and they themselves tend to contain offal and grains.
Peasant foods often involve skilled preparation by knowledgeable cooks using inventiveness and skills passed down from earlier generations. Such dishes are often prized as ethnic foods by other cultures and by descendants of the native culture who still desire these traditional dishes.
Prison food is the term for meals served to prisoners while incarcerated in correctional institutions. While some prisons prepare their own food, many use staff from on-site catering companies. Many prisons today support the requirements of specific religions, as well as vegetarianism. It is said that prison food of many developed countries is adequate to maintain health and dieting.
"Seasonal" here refers to the times of year when the harvest or the flavour of a given type food is at its peak. This is usually the time when the item is harvested, with some exceptions; an example being sweet potatoes which are best eaten quite a while after harvest. It also appeals to people who prefer a low carbon diet that reduces the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from food consumption (Food miles).
Shelf-stable food (sometimes ambient food) is food of a type that can be safely stored at room temperature in a sealed container. This includes foods that would normally be stored refrigerated but which have been processed so that they can be safely stored at room or ambient temperature for a usefully long shelf life.
Various food preservation and packaging techniques are used to extend a food's shelf life. Decreasing the amount of available water in a product, increasing its acidity, or irradiating or otherwise sterilizing the food and then sealing it in an air-tight container are all ways of depriving bacteria of suitable conditions in which to thrive. All of these approaches can all extend a food's shelf life without unacceptably changing its taste or texture.
For some foods alternative ingredients can be used. Common oils and fats become rancid relatively quickly if not refrigerated; replacing them with hydrogenated oils delays the onset of rancidity, increasing shelf life. This is a common approach in industrial food production, but recent concerns about health hazards associated with trans fats have led to their strict control in several jurisdictions. Even where trans fats are not prohibited, in many places there are new labeling laws (or rules), which require information to be printed on packages, or to be published elsewhere, about the amount of trans fat contained in certain products.
Space food is a type of food product created and processed for consumption by astronauts in outer space. The food has specific requirements of providing balanced nutrition for individuals working in space, while being easy and safe to store, prepare and consume in the machinery-filled weightless environments of manned spacecraft.
In recent years, space food has been used by various nations engaging on space programs as a way to share and show off their cultural identity and facilitate intercultural communication. Although astronauts consume a wide variety of foods and beverages in space, the initial idea from The Man in Space Committee of the Space Science Board in 1963 was to supply astronauts with a formula diet that would supply all the needed vitamins and nutrients.
Traditional foods are foods and dishes that are passed through generations or which have been consumed many generations. Traditional foods and dishes are traditional in nature, and may have a historic precedent in a national dish, regional cuisine or local cuisine. Traditional foods and beverages may be produced as homemade, by restaurants and small manufacturers, and by large food processing plant facilities.
Some traditional foods have geographical indications and traditional specialities in the European Union designations per European Union schemes of geographical indications and traditional specialties: Protected designation of origin (PDO), Protected geographical indication (PGI) and Traditional specialities guaranteed (TSG). These standards serve to promote and protect names of quality agricultural products and foodstuffs.
This article also includes information about traditional beverages.
Whole foods are plant foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible, before being consumed. Examples of whole foods include whole grains, tubers, legumes, fruits, vegetables.
There is some confusion over the usage of the term surrounding the inclusion of certain foods, in particular animal foods. The modern usage of the term whole foods diet is now widely synonymous with "whole foods plant-based diet" with animal products, oil and salt no longer constituting whole foods.
The earliest use of the term in the post-industrial age appears to be in 1946 in The Farmer, a quarterly magazine published and edited from his farm by F. Newman Turner, a writer and pioneering organic farmer. The magazine sponsored the establishment of the Producer Consumer Whole Food Society Ltd, with Newman Turner as president and Derek Randal as vice-president. Whole food was defined as "mature produce of field, orchard, or garden without subtraction, addition, or alteration grown from seed without chemical dressing, in fertile soil manured solely with animal and vegetable wastes, and composts therefrom, and ground, raw rock and without chemical manures, sprays, or insecticides," having intent to connect suppliers and the growing public demand for such food. Such diets are rich in whole and unrefined foods, like whole grains, dark green and yellow/orange-fleshed vegetables and fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds.
Most food has always been obtained through agriculture. With increasing concern over both the methods and products of modern industrial agriculture, there has been a growing trend toward sustainable agricultural practices. This approach, partly fueled by consumer demand, encourages biodiversity, local self-reliance and organic farming methods. Major influences on food production include international organizations (e.g. the World Trade Organization and Common Agricultural Policy), national government policy (or law), and war.
Several organisations have begun calling for a new kind of agriculture in which agroecosystems provide food but also support vital ecosystem services so that soil fertility and biodiversity are maintained rather than compromised. According to the International Water Management Institute and UNEP, well-managed agroecosystems not only provide food, fiber and animal products, they also provide services such as flood mitigation, groundwater recharge, erosion control and habitats for plants, birds, fish and other animals.
Animals, specifically humans, have five different types of tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami. As animals have evolved, the tastes that provide the most energy (sugar and fats) are the most pleasant to eat while others, such as bitter, are not enjoyable. Water, while important for survival, has no taste. Fats, on the other hand, especially saturated fats, are thicker and rich and are thus considered more enjoyable to eat.
Generally regarded as the most pleasant taste, sweetness is almost always caused by a type of simple sugar such as glucose or fructose, or disaccharides such as sucrose, a molecule combining glucose and fructose. Complex carbohydrates are long chains and thus do not have the sweet taste. Artificial sweeteners such as sucralose are used to mimic the sugar molecule, creating the sensation of sweet, without the calories. Other types of sugar include raw sugar, which is known for its amber color, as it is unprocessed. As sugar is vital for energy and survival, the taste of sugar is pleasant.
Sourness is caused by the taste of acids, such as vinegar in alcoholic beverages. Sour foods include citrus, specifically lemons, limes, and to a lesser degree oranges. Sour is evolutionarily significant as it is a sign for a food that may have gone rancid due to bacteria. Many foods, however, are slightly acidic, and help stimulate the taste buds and enhance flavor.
Saltiness is the taste of alkali metal ions such as sodium and potassium. It is found in almost every food in low to moderate proportions to enhance flavor, although to eat pure salt is regarded as highly unpleasant. There are many different types of salt, with each having a different degree of saltiness, including sea salt, fleur de sel, kosher salt, mined salt, and grey salt. Other than enhancing flavor, its significance is that the body needs and maintains a delicate electrolyte balance, which is the kidney's function. Salt may be iodized, meaning iodine has been added to it, a necessary nutrient that promotes thyroid function. Some canned foods, notably soups or packaged broths, tend to be high in salt as a means of preserving the food longer. Historically salt has long been used as a meat preservative as salt promotes water excretion. Similarly, dried foods also promote food safety.
Umami, the Japanese word for delicious, is the least known in Western popular culture but has a long tradition in Asian cuisine. Umami is the taste of glutamates, especially monosodium glutamate (MSG). It is characterized as savory, meaty, and rich in flavor. Salmon and mushrooms are foods high in umami.
Many scholars claim that the rhetorical function of food is to represent the culture of a country, and that it can be used as a form of communication. According to Goode, Curtis and Theophano, food "is the last aspect of an ethnic culture to be lost".
Many cultures have a recognizable cuisine, a specific set of cooking traditions using various spices or a combination of flavors unique to that culture, which evolves over time. Other differences include preferences (hot or cold, spicy, etc.) and practices, the study of which is known as gastronomy. Many cultures have diversified their foods by means of preparation, cooking methods, and manufacturing. This also includes a complex food trade which helps the cultures to economically survive by way of food, not just by consumption.
Some popular types of ethnic foods include Italian, French, Japanese, Chinese, American, Cajun, Thai, African, Indian and Nepalese. Various cultures throughout the world study the dietary analysis of food habits. While evolutionarily speaking, as opposed to culturally, humans are omnivores, religion and social constructs such as morality, activism, or environmentalism will often affect which foods they will consume. Food is eaten and typically enjoyed through the sense of taste, the perception of flavor from eating and drinking. Certain tastes are more enjoyable than others, for evolutionary purposes.
Aesthetically pleasing and eye-appealing food presentations can encourage people to consume foods. A common saying is that people "eat with their eyes". Food presented in a clean and appetizing way will encourage a good flavor, even if unsatisfactory.
Texture plays a crucial role in the enjoyment of eating foods. Contrasts in textures, such as something crunchy in an otherwise smooth dish, may increase the appeal of eating it. Common examples include adding granola to yogurt, adding croutons to a salad or soup, and toasting bread to enhance its crunchiness for a smooth topping, such as jam or butter.
Another universal phenomenon regarding food is the appeal of contrast in taste and presentation. For example, such opposite flavors as sweetness and saltiness tend to go well together, as in kettle corn and nuts.
While many foods can be eaten raw, many also undergo some form of preparation for reasons of safety, palatability, texture, or flavor. At the simplest level this may involve washing, cutting, trimming, or adding other foods or ingredients, such as spices. It may also involve mixing, heating or cooling, pressure cooking, fermentation, or combination with other food. In a home, most food preparation takes place in a kitchen. Some preparation is done to enhance the taste or aesthetic appeal; other preparation may help to preserve the food; others may be involved in cultural identity. A meal is made up of food which is prepared to be eaten at a specific time and place.
The preparation of animal-based food usually involves slaughter, evisceration, hanging, portioning, and rendering. In developed countries, this is usually done outside the home in slaughterhouses, which are used to process animals en masse for meat production. Many countries regulate their slaughterhouses by law. For example, the United States has established the Humane Slaughter Act of 1958, which requires that an animal be stunned before killing. This act, like those in many countries, exempts slaughter in accordance to religious law, such as kosher, shechita, and dhab??ah halal. Strict interpretations of kashrut require the animal to be fully aware when its carotid artery is cut.
On the local level, a butcher may commonly break down larger animal meat into smaller manageable cuts, and pre-wrap them for commercial sale or wrap them to order in butcher paper. In addition, fish and seafood may be fabricated into smaller cuts by a fish monger. However, fish butchery may be done on board a fishing vessel and quick-frozen for preservation of quality.
The term "cooking" encompasses a vast range of methods, tools, and combinations of ingredients to improve the flavor or digestibility of food. Cooking technique, known as culinary art, generally requires the selection, measurement, and combining of ingredients in an ordered procedure in an effort to achieve the desired result. Constraints on success include the variability of ingredients, ambient conditions, tools, and the skill of the individual cook. The diversity of cooking worldwide is a reflection of the myriad nutritional, aesthetic, agricultural, economic, cultural, and religious considerations that affect it.
Cooking requires applying heat to a food which usually, though not always, chemically changes the molecules, thus changing its flavor, texture, appearance, and nutritional properties. Cooking certain proteins, such as egg whites, meats, and fish, denatures the protein, causing it to firm. There is archaeological evidence of roasted foodstuffs at Homo erectus campsites dating from 420,000 years ago. Boiling as a means of cooking requires a container, and has been practiced at least since the 10th millennium BC with the introduction of pottery.
There are many different types of equipment used for cooking.
Ovens are mostly hollow devices that get very hot (up to ) and are used for baking or roasting and offer a dry-heat cooking method. Different cuisines will use different types of ovens. For example, Indian culture uses a tandoor oven, which is a cylindrical clay oven which operates at a single high temperature. Western kitchens use variable temperature convection ovens, conventional ovens, toaster ovens, or non-radiant heat ovens like the microwave oven. Classic Italian cuisine includes the use of a brick oven containing burning wood. Ovens may be wood-fired, coal-fired, gas, electric, or oil-fired.
Various types of cook-tops are used as well. They carry the same variations of fuel types as the ovens mentioned above. Cook-tops are used to heat vessels placed on top of the heat source, such as a sauté pan, sauce pot, frying pan, or pressure cooker. These pieces of equipment can use either a moist or dry cooking method and include methods such as steaming, simmering, boiling, and poaching for moist methods, while the dry methods include sautéing, pan frying, and deep-frying.
In addition, many cultures use grills for cooking. A grill operates with a radiant heat source from below, usually covered with a metal grid and sometimes a cover. An open pit barbecue in the American south is one example along with the American style outdoor grill fueled by wood, liquid propane, or charcoal along with soaked wood chips for smoking. A Mexican style of barbecue is called barbacoa, which involves the cooking of meats such as whole sheep over an open fire. In Argentina, an asado (Spanish for "grilled") is prepared on a grill held over an open pit or fire made upon the ground, on which a whole animal or smaller cuts are grilled.
Certain cultures highlight animal and vegetable foods in a raw state. Salads consisting of raw vegetables or fruits are common in many cuisines. Sashimi in Japanese cuisine consists of raw sliced fish or other meat, and sushi often incorporates raw fish or seafood. Steak tartare and salmon tartare are dishes made from diced or ground raw beef or salmon, mixed with various ingredients and served with baguettes, brioche, or frites. In Italy, carpaccio is a dish of very thinly sliced raw beef, drizzled with a vinaigrette made with olive oil. The health food movement known as raw foodism promotes a mostly vegan diet of raw fruits, vegetables, and grains prepared in various ways, including juicing, food dehydration, sprouting, and other methods of preparation that do not heat the food above . An example of a raw meat dish is ceviche, a Latin American dish made with raw meat that is "cooked" from the highly acidic citric juice from lemons and limes along with other aromatics such as garlic.
Restaurants employ chefs to prepare the food, and waiters to serve customers at the table. The term restaurant comes from an old term for a restorative meat broth; this broth (or bouillon) was served in elegant outlets in Paris from the mid 18th century. These refined "restaurants" were a marked change from the usual basic eateries such as inns and taverns, and some had developed from early Parisian cafés, such as Café Procope, by first serving bouillon, then adding other cooked food to their menus.
Commercial eateries existed during the Roman period, with evidence of 150 "thermopolia", a form of fast food restaurant, found in Pompeii, and urban sales of prepared foods may have existed in China during the Song dynasty.
In 2005, the population of the United States spent $496 billion on out-of-home dining. Expenditures by type of out-of-home dining were as follows: 40% in full-service restaurants, 37.2% in limited service restaurants (fast food), 6.6% in schools or colleges, 5.4% in bars and vending machines, 4.7% in hotels and motels, 4.0% in recreational places, and 2.2% in others, which includes military bases.
Packaged foods are manufactured outside the home for purchase. This can be as simple as a butcher preparing meat, or as complex as a modern international food industry. Early food processing techniques were limited by available food preservation, packaging, and transportation. This mainly involved salting, curing, curdling, drying, pickling, fermenting, and smoking. Food manufacturing arose during the industrial revolution in the 19th century. This development took advantage of new mass markets and emerging technology, such as milling, preservation, packaging and labeling, and transportation. It brought the advantages of pre-prepared time-saving food to the bulk of ordinary people who did not employ domestic servants.
At the start of the 21st century, a two-tier structure has arisen, with a few international food processing giants controlling a wide range of well-known food brands. There also exists a wide array of small local or national food processing companies. Advanced technologies have also come to change food manufacture. Computer-based control systems, sophisticated processing and packaging methods, and logistics and distribution advances can enhance product quality, improve food safety, and reduce costs.
The World Bank reported that the European Union was the top food importer in 2005, followed at a distance by the US and Japan. Britain's need for food was especially well illustrated in World War II. Despite the implementation of food rationing, Britain remained dependent on food imports and the result was a long term engagement in the Battle of the Atlantic.
Food is traded and marketed on a global basis. The variety and availability of food is no longer restricted by the diversity of locally grown food or the limitations of the local growing season. Between 1961 and 1999, there was a 400% increase in worldwide food exports. Some countries are now economically dependent on food exports, which in some cases account for over 80% of all exports.
In 1994, over 100 countries became signatories to the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in a dramatic increase in trade liberalization. This included an agreement to reduce subsidies paid to farmers, underpinned by the WTO enforcement of agricultural subsidy, tariffs, import quotas, and settlement of trade disputes that cannot be bilaterally resolved. Where trade barriers are raised on the disputed grounds of public health and safety, the WTO refer the dispute to the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which was founded in 1962 by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization. Trade liberalization has greatly affected world food trade.
Food marketing brings together the producer and the consumer. The marketing of even a single food product can be a complicated process involving many producers and companies. For example, fifty-six companies are involved in making one can of chicken noodle soup. These businesses include not only chicken and vegetable processors but also the companies that transport the ingredients and those who print labels and manufacture cans. The food marketing system is the largest direct and indirect non-government employer in the United States.
In the pre-modern era, the sale of surplus food took place once a week when farmers took their wares on market day into the local village marketplace. Here food was sold to grocers for sale in their local shops for purchase by local consumers. With the onset of industrialization and the development of the food processing industry, a wider range of food could be sold and distributed in distant locations. Typically early grocery shops would be counter-based shops, in which purchasers told the shop-keeper what they wanted, so that the shop-keeper could get it for them.
In the 20th century, supermarkets were born. Supermarkets brought with them a self service approach to shopping using shopping carts, and were able to offer quality food at lower cost through economies of scale and reduced staffing costs. In the latter part of the 20th century, this has been further revolutionized by the development of vast warehouse-sized, out-of-town supermarkets, selling a wide range of food from around the world.
Unlike food processors, food retailing is a two-tier market in which a small number of very large companies control a large proportion of supermarkets. The supermarket giants wield great purchasing power over farmers and processors, and strong influence over consumers. Nevertheless, less than 10% of consumer spending on food goes to farmers, with larger percentages going to advertising, transportation, and intermediate corporations.
It is rare for price spikes to hit all major foods in most countries at once, but food prices suffered all-time peaks in 2008 and 2011, posting a 15% and 12% deflated increase year-over-year, representing prices higher than any data collected.
In December 2007, 37 countries faced food crises, and 20 had imposed some sort of food-price controls. In China, the price of pork jumped 58% in 2007. In the 1980s and 1990s, farm subsidies and support programs allowed major grain exporting countries to hold large surpluses, which could be tapped during food shortages to keep prices down. However, new trade policies had made agricultural production much more responsive to market demands, putting global food reserves at their lowest since 1983.
Rising food prices in those years have been linked with social unrest around the world, including rioting in Bangladesh and Mexico, and the Arab Spring. Food prices worldwide increased in 2008. One cause of rising food prices is wealthier Asian consumers are westernizing their diets, and farmers and nations of the third world are struggling to keep up the pace. The past five years have seen rapid growth in the contribution of Asian nations to the global fluid and powdered milk manufacturing industry, which in 2008 accounted for more than 30% of production, while China alone accounts for more than 10% of both production and consumption in the global fruit and vegetable processing and preserving industry.
In 2013 Overseas Development Institute researchers showed that rice has more than doubled in price since 2000, rising by 120% in real terms. This was as a result of shifts in trade policy and restocking by major producers. More fundamental drivers of increased prices are the higher costs of fertiliser, diesel and labour. Parts of Asia see rural wages rise with potential large benefits for the 1.3 billion (2008 estimate) of Asia's poor in reducing the poverty they face. However, this negatively impacts more vulnerable groups who don't share in the economic boom, especially in Asian and African coastal cities. The researchers said the threat means social-protection policies are needed to guard against price shocks. The research proposed that in the longer run, the rises present opportunities to export for Western African farmers with high potential for rice production to replace imports with domestic production.
Most recently, global food prices have been more stable and relatively low, after a sizable increase in late 2017, they are back under 75% of the nominal value seen during the all-time high in the 2011 food crisis.
Institutions such as hedge funds, pension funds and investment banks like Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have been instrumental in pushing up prices in the last five years, with investment in food commodities rising from $65bn to $126bn (£41bn to £79bn) between 2007 and 2012, contributing to 30-year highs. This has caused price fluctuations which are not strongly related to the actual supply of food, according to the United Nations. Financial institutions now make up 61% of all investment in wheat futures. According to Olivier De Schutter, the UN special rapporteur on food, there was a rush by institutions to enter the food market following George W. Bush's Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000. De Schutter told the Independent in March 2012: "What we are seeing now is that these financial markets have developed massively with the arrival of these new financial investors, who are purely interested in the short-term monetary gain and are not really interested in the physical thing ? they never actually buy the ton of wheat or maize; they only buy a promise to buy or to sell. The result of this financialisation of the commodities market is that the prices of the products respond increasingly to a purely speculative logic. This explains why in very short periods of time we see prices spiking or bubbles exploding, because prices are less and less determined by the real match between supply and demand." In 2011, 450 economists from around the world called on the G20 to regulate the commodities market more.
Some experts have said that speculation has merely aggravated other factors, such as climate change, competition with bio-fuels and overall rising demand. However, some such as Jayati Ghosh, professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, have pointed out that prices have increased irrespective of supply and demand issues: Ghosh points to world wheat prices, which doubled in the period from June to December 2010, despite there being no fall in global supply.
Food deprivation leads to malnutrition and ultimately starvation. This is often connected with famine, which involves the absence of food in entire communities. This can have a devastating and widespread effect on human health and mortality. Rationing is sometimes used to distribute food in times of shortage, most notably during times of war.
Starvation is a significant international problem. Approximately 815 million people are undernourished, and over 16,000 children die per day from hunger-related causes. Food deprivation is regarded as a deficit need in Maslow's hierarchy of needs and is measured using famine scales.
Food aid can benefit people suffering from a shortage of food. It can be used to improve peoples' lives in the short term, so that a society can increase its standard of living to the point that food aid is no longer required. Conversely, badly managed food aid can create problems by disrupting local markets, depressing crop prices, and discouraging food production. Sometimes a cycle of food aid dependence can develop. Its provision, or threatened withdrawal, is sometimes used as a political tool to influence the policies of the destination country, a strategy known as food politics. Sometimes, food aid provisions will require certain types of food be purchased from certain sellers, and food aid can be misused to enhance the markets of donor countries. International efforts to distribute food to the neediest countries are often coordinated by the World Food Programme.
Foodborne illness, commonly called "food poisoning", is caused by bacteria, toxins, viruses, parasites, and prions. Roughly 7 million people die of food poisoning each year, with about 10 times as many suffering from a non-fatal version. The two most common factors leading to cases of bacterial foodborne illness are cross-contamination of ready-to-eat food from other uncooked foods and improper temperature control. Less commonly, acute adverse reactions can also occur if chemical contamination of food occurs, for example from improper storage, or use of non-food grade soaps and disinfectants. Food can also be adulterated by a very wide range of articles (known as "foreign bodies") during farming, manufacture, cooking, packaging, distribution, or sale. These foreign bodies can include pests or their droppings, hairs, cigarette butts, wood chips, and all manner of other contaminants. It is possible for certain types of food to become contaminated if stored or presented in an unsafe container, such as a ceramic pot with lead-based glaze.
Food poisoning has been recognized as a disease since as early as Hippocrates. The sale of rancid, contaminated, or adulterated food was commonplace until the introduction of hygiene, refrigeration, and vermin controls in the 19th century. Discovery of techniques for killing bacteria using heat, and other microbiological studies by scientists such as Louis Pasteur, contributed to the modern sanitation standards that are ubiquitous in developed nations today. This was further underpinned by the work of Justus von Liebig, which led to the development of modern food storage and food preservation methods. In more recent years, a greater understanding of the causes of food-borne illnesses has led to the development of more systematic approaches such as the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), which can identify and eliminate many risks.
Recommended measures for ensuring food safety include maintaining a clean preparation area with foods of different types kept separate, ensuring an adequate cooking temperature, and refrigerating foods promptly after cooking.
Foods that spoil easily, such as meats, dairy, and seafood, must be prepared a certain way to avoid contaminating the people for whom they are prepared. As such, the rule of thumb is that cold foods (such as dairy products) should be kept cold and hot foods (such as soup) should be kept hot until storage. Cold meats, such as chicken, that are to be cooked should not be placed at room temperature for thawing, at the risk of dangerous bacterial growth, such as Salmonella or E. coli.
Some people have allergies or sensitivities to foods which are not problematic to most people. This occurs when a person's immune system mistakes a certain food protein for a harmful foreign agent and attacks it. About 2% of adults and 8% of children have a food allergy. The amount of the food substance required to provoke a reaction in a particularly susceptible individual can be quite small. In some instances, traces of food in the air, too minute to be perceived through smell, have been known to provoke lethal reactions in extremely sensitive individuals. Common food allergens are gluten, corn, shellfish (mollusks), peanuts, and soy. Allergens frequently produce symptoms such as diarrhea, rashes, bloating, vomiting, and regurgitation. The digestive complaints usually develop within half an hour of ingesting the allergen.
Rarely, food allergies can lead to a medical emergency, such as anaphylactic shock, hypotension (low blood pressure), and loss of consciousness. An allergen associated with this type of reaction is peanut, although latex products can induce similar reactions. Initial treatment is with epinephrine (adrenaline), often carried by known patients in the form of an Epi-pen or Twinject.
Human diet was estimated to cause perhaps around 35% of cancers in a human epidemiological analysis by Richard Doll and Richard Peto in 1981. These cancer may be caused by carcinogens that are present in food naturally or as contaminants. Food contaminated with fungal growth may contain mycotoxins such as aflatoxins which may be found in contaminated corn and peanuts. Other carcinogens identified in food include heterocyclic amines generated in meat when cooked at high temperature, polyaromatic hydrocarbons in charred meat and smoked fish, and nitrosamines generated from nitrites used as food preservatives in cured meat such as bacon.
Anticarcinogens that may help prevent cancer can also be found in many food especially fruit and vegetables. Antioxidants are important groups of compounds that may help remove potentially harmful chemicals. It is however often difficult to identify the specific components in diet that serve to increase or decrease cancer risk since many food, such as beef steak and broccoli, contain low concentrations of both carcinogens and anticarcinogens. There are many international certifications in cooking field, such as Monde Selection?A.A. Certification?iTQi. They use the high quality evaluation methods to make the food become more safe.
Many cultures hold some food preferences and some food taboos. Dietary choices can also define cultures and play a role in religion. For example, only kosher foods are permitted by Judaism, halal foods by Islam, and in Hinduism beef is restricted. In addition, the dietary choices of different countries or regions have different characteristics. This is highly related to a culture's cuisine.
Dietary habits play a significant role in the health and mortality of all humans. Imbalances between the consumed fuels and expended energy results in either starvation or excessive reserves of adipose tissue, known as body fat. Poor intake of various vitamins and minerals can lead to diseases that can have far-reaching effects on health. For instance, 30% of the world's population either has, or is at risk for developing, iodine deficiency. It is estimated that at least 3 million children are blind due to vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin C deficiency results in scurvy. Calcium, Vitamin D, and phosphorus are inter-related; the consumption of each may affect the absorption of the others. Kwashiorkor and marasmus are childhood disorders caused by lack of dietary protein.
Many individuals limit what foods they eat for reasons of morality, or other habit. For instance, vegetarians choose to forgo food from animal sources to varying degrees. Others choose a healthier diet, avoiding sugars or animal fats and increasing consumption of dietary fiber and antioxidants. Obesity, a serious problem in the western world, leads to higher chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer and many other diseases. More recently, dietary habits have been influenced by the concerns that some people have about possible impacts on health or the environment from genetically modified food. Further concerns about the impact of industrial farming (grains) on animal welfare, human health, and the environment are also having an effect on contemporary human dietary habits. This has led to the emergence of a movement with a preference for organic and local food.
Between the extremes of optimal health and death from starvation or malnutrition, there is an array of disease states that can be caused or alleviated by changes in diet. Deficiencies, excesses, and imbalances in diet can produce negative impacts on health, which may lead to various health problems such as scurvy, obesity, or osteoporosis, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases as well as psychological and behavioral problems. The science of nutrition attempts to understand how and why specific dietary aspects influence health.
Nutrients in food are grouped into several categories. Macronutrients are fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Micronutrients are the minerals and vitamins. Additionally, food contains water and dietary fiber.
As previously discussed, the body is designed by natural selection to enjoy sweet and fattening foods for evolutionary diets, ideal for hunters and gatherers. Thus, sweet and fattening foods in nature are typically rare and are very pleasurable to eat. In modern times, with advanced technology, enjoyable foods are easily available to consumers. Unfortunately, this promotes obesity in adults and children alike.
Some countries list a legal definition of food, often referring them with the word foodstuff. These countries list food as any item that is to be processed, partially processed, or unprocessed for consumption. The listing of items included as food include any substance intended to be, or reasonably expected to be, ingested by humans. In addition to these foodstuffs, drink, chewing gum, water, or other items processed into said food items are part of the legal definition of food. Items not included in the legal definition of food include animal feed, live animals (unless being prepared for sale in a market), plants prior to harvesting, medicinal products, cosmetics, tobacco and tobacco products, narcotic or psychotropic substances, and residues and contaminants.
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A drink (or beverage) is a liquid intended for human consumption. In addition to their basic function of satisfying thirst, drinks play important roles in human culture. Common types of drinks include plain drinking water, milk, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, juice and soft drinks. In addition, alcoholic drinks such as wine, beer, and liquor, which contain the drug ethanol, have been part of human culture for more than 8,000 years.
Non-alcoholic drinks often signify drinks that would normally contain alcohol, such as beer and wine, but are made with less than .5 percent alcohol by volume. The category includes drinks that have undergone an alcohol removal process such as non-alcoholic beers and de-alcoholized wines.
When the human body becomes dehydrated, it experiences thirst. This craving of fluids results in an instinctive need to drink. Thirst is regulated by the hypothalamus in response to subtle changes in the body's electrolyte levels, and also as a result of changes in the volume of blood circulating. The complete elimination of drinks, that is, water, from the body will result in death faster than the removal of any other substance. Water and milk have been basic drinks throughout history. As water is essential for life, it has also been the carrier of many diseases.
As society developed, techniques were discovered to create alcoholic drinks from the plants that were available in different areas. The earliest archaeological evidence of wine production yet found has been at sites in Georgia ( BCE) and Iran ( BCE). Beer may have been known in Neolithic Europe as far back as 3000 BCE, and was mainly brewed on a domestic scale. The invention of beer (and bread) has been argued to be responsible for humanity's ability to develop technology and build civilization. Tea likely originated in Yunnan, China during the Shang Dynasty (1500 BCE?1046 BCE) as a medicinal drink.
Drinking has been a large part of socialising throughout the centuries. In Ancient Greece, a social gathering for the purpose of drinking was known as a symposium, where watered down wine would be drunk. The purpose of these gatherings could be anything from serious discussions to direct indulgence. In Ancient Rome, a similar concept of a convivium took place regularly.
Many early societies considered alcohol a gift from the gods, leading to the creation of gods such as Dionysus. Other religions forbid, discourage, or restrict the drinking of alcoholic drinks for various reasons. In some regions with a dominant religion the production, sale, and consumption of alcoholic drinks is forbidden to everybody, regardless of religion.
Toasting is a method of honouring a person or wishing good will by taking a drink. Another tradition is that of the loving cup, at weddings or other celebrations such as sports victories a group will share a drink in a large receptacle, shared by everyone until empty.
In East Africa and Yemen, coffee was used in native religious ceremonies. As these ceremonies conflicted with the beliefs of the Christian church, the Ethiopian Church banned the secular consumption of coffee until the reign of Emperor Menelik II. The drink was also banned in Ottoman Turkey during the 17th century for political reasons and was associated with rebellious political activities in Europe.
A drink is a form of liquid which has been prepared for human consumption. The preparation can include a number of different steps, some prior to transport, others immediately prior to consumption.
Water is the chief constituent in all drinks, and the primary ingredient in most. Water is purified prior to drinking. Methods for purification include filtration and the addition of chemicals, such as chlorination. The importance of purified water is highlighted by the World Health Organization, who point out 94% of deaths from diarrhea ? the third biggest cause of infectious death worldwide at 1.8 million annually ? could be prevented by improving the quality of the victim's environment, particularly safe water.
Pasteurisation is the process of heating a liquid for a period of time at a specified temperature, then immediately cooling. The process reduces the growth of microorganisms within the liquid, thereby increasing the time before spoilage. It is primarily used on milk, which prior to pasteurisation is commonly infected with pathogenic bacteria and therefore is more likely than any other part of the common diet in the developed world to cause illness.
The process of extracting juice from fruits and vegetables can take a number of forms. Simple crushing of most fruits will provide a significant amount of liquid, though a more intense pressure can be applied to get the maximum amount of juice from the fruit. Both crushing and pressing are processes used in the production of wine.
Infusion is the process of extracting flavours from plant material by allowing the material to remain suspended within water. This process is used in the production of teas, herbal teas and can be used to prepare coffee (when using a coffee press).
The name is derived from the word "percolate" which means to cause (a solvent) to pass through a permeable substance especially for extracting a soluble constituent. In the case of coffee-brewing the solvent is water, the permeable substance is the coffee grounds, and the soluble constituents are the chemical compounds that give coffee its color, taste, aroma, and stimulating properties.
Carbonation is the process of dissolving carbon dioxide into a liquid, such as water.
Fermentation is a metabolic process that converts sugar to ethanol. Fermentation has been used by humans for the production of drinks since the Neolithic age. In winemaking, grape juice is combined with yeast in an anaerobic environment to allow the fermentation. The amount of sugar in the wine and the length of time given for fermentation determine the alcohol level and the sweetness of the wine.
When brewing beer, there are four primary ingredients ? water, grain, yeast and hops. The grain is encouraged to germinate by soaking and drying in heat, a process known as malting. It is then milled before soaking again to create the sugars needed for fermentation. This process is known as mashing. Hops are added for flavouring, then the yeast is added to the mixture (now called wort) to start the fermentation process.
Distillation is a method of separating mixtures based on differences in volatility of components in a boiling liquid mixture. It is one of the methods used in the purification of water. It is also a method of producing spirits from milder alcoholic drinks.
An alcoholic mixed drink that contains two or more ingredients is referred to as a cocktail. Cocktails were originally a mixture of spirits, sugar, water, and bitters. The term is now often used for almost any mixed drink that contains alcohol, including mixers, mixed shots, etc. A cocktail today usually contains one or more kinds of spirit and one or more mixers, such as soda or fruit juice. Additional ingredients may be sugar, honey, milk, cream, and various herbs.
A non-alcoholic drink is one that contains little or no alcohol. This category includes low-alcohol beer, non-alcoholic wine, and apple cider if they contain less than 0.5% alcohol by volume. The term "soft drink" specifies the absence of alcohol in contrast to "hard drink" and "drink". The term "drink" is theoretically neutral, but often is used in a way that suggests alcoholic content. Drinks such as soda pop, sparkling water, iced tea, lemonade, root beer, fruit punch, milk, hot chocolate, tea, coffee, milkshakes, and tap water and energy drinks are all soft drinks.
Water is the world's most consumed drink, however, 97% of water on Earth is non-drinkable salt water. Fresh water is found in rivers, lakes, wetlands, groundwater, and frozen glaciers. Less than 1% of the Earth's fresh water supplies are accessible through surface water and underground sources which are cost effective to retrieve.
In western cultures, water is often drunk cold. In the Chinese culture, it is typically drunk hot.
Regarded as one of the "original" drinks, milk is the primary source of nutrition for babies. In many cultures of the world, especially the Western world, humans continue to consume dairy milk beyond infancy, using the milk of other animals (especially cattle, goats and sheep) as a drink. Plant milk, a general term for any milk-like product that is derived from a plant source, also has a long history of consumption in various countries and cultures. The most popular varieties internationally are soy milk, almond milk, rice milk and coconut milk.
Carbonated drinks refer to drinks which have carbon dioxide dissolved into them. This can happen naturally through fermenting and in natural water spas or artificially by the dissolution of carbon dioxide under pressure. The first commercially available artificially carbonated drink is believed to have been produced by Thomas Henry in the late 1770s. Cola, orange, various roots, ginger, and lemon/lime are commonly used to create non-alcoholic carbonated drinks; sugars and preservatives may be added later.
Fruit juice is a natural product that contains few or no additives. Citrus products such as orange juice and tangerine juice are familiar breakfast drinks, while grapefruit juice, pineapple, apple, grape, lime, and lemon juice are also common. Coconut water is a highly nutritious and refreshing juice. Many kinds of berries are crushed; their juices are mixed with water and sometimes sweetened. Raspberry, blackberry and currants are popular juices drinks but the percentage of water also determines their nutritive value. Grape juice allowed to ferment produces wine.
Fruits are highly perishable so the ability to extract juices and store them was of significant value. Some fruits are highly acidic and mixing them with water and sugars or honey was often necessary to make them palatable. Early storage of fruit juices was labor-intensive, requiring the crushing of the fruits and the mixing of the resulting pure juices with sugars before bottling.
Vegetable juices are usually served warm or cold. Different types of vegetables can be used to make vegetable juice such as carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery and many more. Some vegetable juices are mixed with some fruit juice to make the vegetable juice taste better. Many popular vegetable juices, particularly ones with high tomato content, are high in sodium, and therefore consumption of them for health must be carefully considered. Some vegetable juices provide the same health benefits as whole vegetables in terms of reducing risks of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
|Type of fruit drink||Percentage of fruit needed in drink||Description|
|Fruit juice||100%||Largely regulated throughout the world; 'juice' is often protected to be used for only 100% fruit.|
|Fruit drink||10%||Fruit is liquefied and water added.|
|Fruit squash||25%||Produced using strained fruit juice, 45% sugar and preservatives.|
|Fruit cordial||0%||All 'suspended matter' is eliminated by filtration or clarification. and therefore appears clear This type of drink, if described as 'flavoured,' may not have any amount of fruit.|
|Fruit punch||25%||A mixture of fruit juices. Contains around 65% sugar.|
|Fruit syrups||-||1 fruit crushed into puree and left to ferment. Is then heated with sugar to create syrup.|
|Fruit juice concentrates||100%||Water removed from fruit juice by heating or freezing.|
|Carbonated fruit drinks||-||Carbon dioxide added to fruit drink.|
|Fruit nectars||30%||Mixture of fruit pulp, sugar and water which is consumed as 'one shot'.|
|Fruit Sherbets||-||Cooled drink of sweetened diluted fruit juice.|
A sleep beverage, nightcap or relaxation drink are considered consumable liquids taken shortly before bedtime to induce sleep. They are often formulated to help reduce stress, alleviate anxiety, improve focus, and promote better overall sleep. For example, a small alcoholic drink or a cup of warm milk can supposedly promote a good night's sleep. These consumable sleep supplements are an anomaly or antithesis of energy drinks and have found a niche in the beverage industry. Originally, a nightcap was understood to be an alcoholic liquid with purpose of warming the drinker up and helping them sleep. That changed in 1930, when the nonalcoholic drink, Ovaltine, was advertised as "the world's best 'night-cap' to ensure sound, natural sleep." An ingredient of Ovaltine is magnesium which helps to induce relaxation. Likewise, warm milk is often recommended as a nightcap for inducing sleep, because it contains both tryptophan and calcium. Then, the flavor of the warm milk was improved by adding a small amount of liqueur which may promote sleep as well. Alternatively, honey or vanilla can improve the flavor too. The effectiveness of warm milk for inducing sleep is disputed. Other drinks touted for inducing sleep and being effective sleep aids are hops tea, cherry juice (contains melatonin), coconut water (contains magnesium), lemon balm tea, decaffeinated green tea (contains theanine), valerian tea, and chamomile tea. Today, however, most sleep beverages, nightcaps and relaxation drinks are generally non-alcoholic beverages containing calming ingredients normally found in nature. They are considered functional beverages which serve to relax a person. Unlike other calming beverages, such as tea, warm milk or milk with honey; sleep drinks almost universally contain more than one active ingredient. Melatonin is a common ingredient found in relaxation drinks which also carries some negative connotations due to the controversial effects from long term use. Sleep beverages, nightcaps, and relaxation drinks have been known to contain other natural ingredients and are usually free of caffeine and alcohol but some have claimed to contain marijuana. Sleep beverages, nightcaps and relaxation drinks started to reappear in Japan at the beginning of the 21st century and then began to make their way to the US. One major brand was called Drank, a reference to an illicit concoction made out of cold medication. Others had names like Purple Stuff and Lean, which also hinted at vaguely narcotic effects. These brands were marketed towards a partying crowd, yet never managed to break into the mainstream. In the US, the Food & Drug Administration also moved in, shutting down brands for false health claims.
A drink is considered "alcoholic" if it contains ethanol, commonly known as alcohol (although in chemistry the definition of "alcohol" includes many other compounds). Beer has been a part of human culture for 8,000 years.
Beer is an alcoholic drink produced by the saccharification of starch and fermentation of the resulting sugar. The starch and saccharification enzymes are often derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat. Most beer is also flavoured with hops, which add bitterness and act as a natural preservative, though other flavourings such as herbs or fruit may occasionally be included. The preparation of beer is called brewing. Beer is the world's most widely consumed alcoholic drink, and is the third-most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is said to have been discovered by goddess Ninkasi around 5300 BCE, when she accidentally discovered yeast after leaving grain in jars that were later rained upon and left for several days. Women have been the chief creators of beer throughout history due to its association with domesticity and it, throughout much of history, being brewed in the home for family consumption. Only in recent history have men began to dabble in the field. It is thought by some to be the oldest fermented drink.
Some of humanity's earliest known writings refer to the production and distribution of beer: the Code of Hammurabi included laws regulating beer and beer parlours, and "The Hymn to Ninkasi", a prayer to the Mesopotamian goddess of beer, served as both a prayer and as a method of remembering the recipe for beer in a culture with few literate people. Today, the brewing industry is a global business, consisting of several dominant multinational companies and many thousands of smaller producers ranging from brewpubs to regional breweries.
Cider is a fermented alcoholic drink made from fruit juice, most commonly and traditionally apple juice, but also the juice of peaches, pears ("Perry" cider) or other fruit. Cider may be made from any variety of apple, but certain cultivars grown solely for use in cider are known as cider apples. The United Kingdom has the highest per capita consumption of cider, as well as the largest cider-producing companies in the world, , the U.K. produces 600 million litres of cider each year (130 million imperial gallons).
Wine is an alcoholic drink made from fermented grapes or other fruits. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, water, or other nutrients. Yeast consumes the sugars in the grapes and converts them into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Different varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts produce different styles of wine. The well-known variations result from the very complex interactions between the biochemical development of the fruit, reactions involved in fermentation, terroir and subsequent appellation, along with human intervention in the overall process. The final product may contain tens of thousands of chemical compounds in amounts varying from a few percent to a few parts per billion.
Wines made from produce besides grapes are usually named after the product from which they are produced (for example, rice wine, pomegranate wine, apple wine and elderberry wine) and are generically called fruit wine. The term "wine" can also refer to starch-fermented or fortified drinks having higher alcohol content, such as barley wine, huangjiu, or sake.
Wine has a rich history dating back thousands of years, with the earliest production so far discovered having occurred BC in Georgia. It had reached the Balkans by BC and was consumed and celebrated in ancient Greece and Rome.
From its earliest appearance in written records, wine has also played an important role in religion. Red wine was closely associated with blood by the ancient Egyptians, who, according to Plutarch, avoided its free consumption as late as the 7th-century BC Saite dynasty, "thinking it to be the blood of those who had once battled against the gods". The Greek cult and mysteries of Dionysus, carried on by the Romans in their Bacchanalia, were the origins of western theater. Judaism incorporates it in the Kiddush and Christianity in its Eucharist, while alcohol consumption was forbidden in Islam.
Spirits are distilled beverages that contain no added sugar and have at least 20% alcohol by volume (ABV). Popular spirits include borovi?ka, brandy, gin, rum, slivovitz, tequila, vodka, and whisky. Brandy is a spirit created by distilling wine, whilst vodka may be distilled from any starch- or sugar-rich plant matter; most vodka today is produced from grains such as sorghum, corn, rye or wheat.
Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from the roasted seeds of several species of an evergreen shrub of the genus Coffea. The two most common sources of coffee beans are the highly regarded Coffea arabica, and the "robusta" form of the hardier Coffea canephora. Coffee plants are cultivated in more than 70 countries. Once ripe, coffee "berries" are picked, processed, and dried to yield the seeds inside. The seeds are then roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavor, before being ground and brewed to create coffee.
Coffee is slightly acidic (pH 5.0?5.1) and can have a stimulating effect on humans because of its caffeine content. It is one of the most popular drinks in the world. It can be prepared and presented in a variety of ways. The effect of coffee on human health has been a subject of many studies; however, results have varied in terms of coffee's relative benefit.
Hot chocolate, also known as drinking chocolate or cocoa, is a heated drink consisting of shaved chocolate, melted chocolate or cocoa powder, heated milk or water, and usually a sweetener. Hot chocolate may be topped with whipped cream. Hot chocolate made with melted chocolate is sometimes called drinking chocolate, characterized by less sweetness and a thicker consistency.
The first chocolate drink is believed to have been created by the Mayans around 2,500-3,000 years ago, and a cocoa drink was an essential part of Aztec culture by 1400 AD, by which they referred to as xoc?l?tl. The drink became popular in Europe after being introduced from Mexico in the New World and has undergone multiple changes since then. Until the 19th century, hot chocolate was even used medicinally to treat ailments such as liver and stomach diseases.
Hot chocolate is consumed throughout the world and comes in multiple variations, including the spiced chocolate para mesa of Latin America, the very thick cioccolata calda served in Italy and chocolate a la taza served in Spain, and the thinner hot cocoa consumed in the United States. Prepared hot chocolate can be purchased from a range of establishments, including cafeterias, fast food restaurants, coffeehouses and teahouses. Powdered hot chocolate mixes, which can be added to boiling water or hot milk to make the drink at home, are sold at grocery stores and online.
Tea, the second most consumed drink in the world, is produced from infusing dried leaves of the camellia sinensis shrub, in boiling water. There are many ways in which tea is prepared for consumption: lemon or milk and sugar are among the most common additives worldwide. Other additions include butter and salt in Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibet; bubble tea in Taiwan; fresh ginger in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore; mint in North Africa and Senegal; cardamom in Central Asia; rum to make Jagertee in Central Europe; and coffee to make yuanyang in Hong Kong. Tea is also served differently from country to country: in China and Japan tiny cups are used to serve tea; in Thailand and the United States tea is often served cold (as "iced tea") or with a lot of sweetener; Indians boil tea with milk and a blend of spices as masala chai; tea is brewed with a samovar in Iran, Kashmir, Russia and Turkey; and in the Australian Outback it is traditionally brewed in a billycan. Tea leaves can be processed in different ways resulting in a drink which appears and tastes different. Chinese yellow and green tea are steamed, roasted and dried; Oolong tea is semi-oxidised and appears green-black and black teas are fully oxidised.
Around the world, people refer to other herbal infusions as "teas"; it is also argued that these were popular long before the Camellia sinensis shrub was used for tea making. Leaves, flowers, roots or bark can be used to make a herbal infusion and can be bought fresh, dried or powdered.
Throughout history, people have come together in establishments to socialise whilst drinking. This includes cafés and coffeehouses, focus on providing hot drinks as well as light snacks. Many coffee houses in the Middle East, and in West Asian immigrant districts in the Western world, offer shisha (nargile in Turkish and Greek), flavored tobacco smoked through a hookah. Espresso bars are a type of coffeehouse that specialize in serving espresso and espresso-based drinks.
In China and Japan, the establishment would be a tea house, were people would socialise whilst drinking tea. Chinese scholars have used the teahouse for places of sharing ideas.
Alcoholic drinks are served in drinking establishments, which have different cultural connotations. For example, pubs are fundamental to the culture of Britain, Ireland, Australia, Canada, New England, Metro Detroit, South Africa and New Zealand. In many places, especially in villages, a pub can be the focal point of the community. The writings of Samuel Pepys describe the pub as the heart of England. Many pubs are controlled by breweries, so cask ale or keg beer may be a better value than wines and spirits.
In contrast, types of bars range from seedy bars or nightclubs, sometimes termed "dive bars", to elegant places of entertainment for the elite. Bars provide stools or chairs that are placed at tables or counters for their patrons. The term "bar" is derived from the specialized counter on which drinks are served. Some bars have entertainment on a stage, such as a live band, comedians, go-go dancers, or strippers. Patrons may sit or stand at the bar and be served by the bartender, or they may sit at tables and be served by cocktail servers.
Food and drink are often paired together to enhance the taste experience. This primarily happens with wine and a culture has grown up around the process. Weight, flavors and textures can either be contrasted or complemented. In recent years, food magazines began to suggest particular wines with recipes and restaurants would offer multi-course dinners matched with a specific wine for each course.
Different drinks have unique receptacles for their consumption. This is sometimes purely for presentations purposes, such as for cocktails. In other situations, the drinkware has practical application, such as coffee cups which are designed for insulation or brandy snifters which are designed to encourage evaporation but trap the aroma within the glass.
Many glasses include a stem, which allows the drinker to hold the glass without affecting the temperature of the drink. In champagne glasses, the bowl is designed to retain champagne's signature carbonation, by reducing the surface area at the opening of the bowl. Historically, champagne has been served in a champagne coupe, the shape of which allowed carbonation to dissipate even more rapidly than from a standard wine glass.
An important export commodity, coffee was the top agricultural export for twelve countries in 2004, and it was the world's seventh-largest legal agricultural export by value in 2005. Green (unroasted) coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world.
For the calendar year 2016, the United States beverage industry was valued at $24.1 billion with single-serve bottled water accounting for $900 million of the total. Carbonated beverages accounted for $81.6 billion in annual sales in the U.S.
Some drinks, such as wine, can be used as an alternative investment. This can be achieved by either purchasing and reselling individual bottles or cases of particular wines, or purchasing shares in an investment wine fund that pools investors' capital.
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