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Evolution of Food:
Some of our knowledge of what early man ate comes from archaeological studies of cave drawings of food getting and preparation activities. primitive men collected their food from wild animals and plants. They depended upon fruits, nuts, roots and other plant foods, meat from animals and fish from seas, lakes and rivers. They were forced to spend their days and nights in search of food. They roamed from place to place to correspond the changing season, the appearance and disappearance of various fruits and leaves, or the migration and movement of game animals. They lived as hunters and gatherers. In this way they lived till 10000 years ago in a few places and 5000 years ago in most of the world.
Gradually food gatherers learned to domesticate plants and animals. One of the first great changes which occurred in man’s food pattern must have been when he learnt to use fire to cook. They settled down, build shelters and raised plants and animals to provide food. The first crop to be grown were wheat and barley from wild grasses. Milk was probably the first food to be extracted from animals. Man eats most of his food cooked and this is one of the many characteristics which separate him from other animals. The development of agricultural skills over the last two centuries and consequent supply of a sufficient amount of food, its preservation and storage, resulted in the emergence of cities and urban civilization.
Today in our diet, traditional foods are being replaced by fast foods. Traditional foods are nutrient rich, does not contain any artificial colouring, flavours or preservatives. Whereas fast foods contain all these things. In addition, food insecurity and nutrition insecurity are challenging public health in the present trend.
The term ‘food’ refers to what we eat and which nourishes the body. It includes solids, semi-solids and liquids. so, two important features for any item to be called food are:
· It should be worth eating, that is, it should be ‘edible’.
· It must nourish the body
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