Supermarkets shelves with fresh produce from all over the world on sale The food we eat gives us energy and allows us to grow and to repair our bodies and brains. All our food comes from plants and animals, together with a few non-plant or animal sources such as fungi (mushrooms) and algae (seaweed). In the past, everything people ate was grown, gathered, raised or hunted locally. Today, advances in food processing and transportation mean that many people in wealthier nations eat food from all around the world.
The staple foods of a region are those that are eaten regularly there. They are usually the foods that the climate and geography of the region make it easy to farm, hunt or forage for, so they are widely available and cheap to buy. Common examples of staple foods are cereals, such as rice and wheat; pulses, such as beans and lentils; root vegetables, such as potatoes, taro and yams; fruits such as plantains and breadfruits.
On the islands of Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean, for example, the staple foods are fish, coconut, breadfruit and corn made from taro. In Europe, the staple foods include meat, fish, wheat flour and potatoes.
Every day, more than 16,000 children die from starvation or malnutrition
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