Sources of Food


 This topic gives you an overview of;

  • The variety of foods.
  • Food materials and their sources.
  • Food from animals and plants.
  • The classification of animals based on their food habits. 

Food Variety

There seems to be so much variety in the food that we eat. What are these food items made of? Think about rice cooked at home. We take raw rice and boil it in water. Just two materials or ingredients are needed to prepare a dish of boiled rice. On the other hand, some food items are made with many ingredients. To prepare vegetable curry, we need different kinds of vegetables, salt, spices, oil and so on. 

Food Materials and Sources

It may be easy for us to guess the sources of some of the ingredients like fruits and vegetables, for instance. Where do they come from? Plants, of course! What are the sources of rice or wheat? You may have seen paddy or wheat fields with rows and rows of plants, which give us these grains. And then, there are food items like milk, eggs, meat, chicken, fish, prawns, beef, pork and such others, which come from animals. 

Plants are the sources of food ingredients like grains, cereals, vegetables and fruits. Animals provide us with milk, meat products and eggs. Cows, goats and buffaloes are some common animals which give us milk. Milk and milk products like butter, cream, cheese and curd are used all over the world.  

Plant Parts and Animal Products as Food

Plants are one source of our food. Which parts of a plant are these? 

We eat many leafy vegetables. We eat fruits of some plants. Sometimes roots, sometimes stems and even flowers.  Some plants have two or more edible (eatable) parts. Seeds of mustard plants give us oil and the leaves are used as a vegetable.  

What  do Animals  Eat?

Do you have cattle or a pet that you take care of? A dog, cat, buffalo or a goat? You will then surely be aware of the food, the animal eats. What about other animals? Have you ever observed what a squirrel, pigeon, lizard or a small insect may be eating as their food?   

Animals that eat only plants or plant products are called herbivores.

There are some animals which eat other animals. These animals are called carnivores.

Finally there are some animals that eat both plants and animals. These are called omnivores.  


  • There is a lot of variation in the food eaten in different regions of India.
  • The main sources of our food are plants and animals.
  • Animals which eat only plants are called herbivores.
  • Animals which eat only animals are called carnivores.
  • Animals which eat both plants as well as other animals are called omnivores. 

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