Food and Hunger

Topics: Nutrition, Malnutrition, Food Pages: 12 (2514 words) Published: January 27, 2013



Food Nutrients

The most pressing factor now limiting the capacity of the earth to support life is the supply of food. Man’s need for food and his current nutritional requirements are all important for his survival.

Nutrition is defined as the science of food and its relationship to health.

Some of these nutrients are considered to be essential while others are considered to be non-essential.

Essential and Non-essential Food Nutrients

Essential nutrients are nutrients that cannot be synthesized by the human body and therefore must be derived from food sources. Essential nutrients include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids and some carbohydrates as a source of energy.

Non-essential nutrients are nutrients which the body has the ability to synthesis from other compounds, as well as, from food sources. Nutrients are generally divided into 2 categories, macronutrients, and micronutrients.

People are heterotrophs. A heterotroph is a creature that must ingest biomass to obtain its energy and nutrition. All heterotrophs have an absolute dependence on the biological products of autotrophs for their sustenance—they have no other source of nourishment.

1. Macronutrients are fats, carbohydrates and proteins. All three can serve as source of the energy that we need to survive. These nutrients are generally needed in large quantities. Organic.

2. Micronutrients are the substances that an organism must have in its diet in small quantities because it cannot make them for itself or because it cannot make them as fast as it needs them. The nutrients can be divided into vitamins which organic compounds, and minerals which are inorganic.


Malnutrition and Diet

About 20,000 people die of starvation everyday, and at least 10 million children in the world are so malnourished (poorly fed) that their lives are in danger.

1. Starvation means death from lack of food. Most people who are inadequately fed do not actually die because they take in too few calories to sustain life.

2. Some 45 compounds and elements found in foods are considered essential nutrients necessary for the life and health of human beings.

5. General Categories of Nutrients

a. Carbohydrates - is an organic compound that consists only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen

b. Proteins -are large biological molecules consisting of one or more chains of amino acids

c. Lipids - constitute a group of naturally occurring molecules that include fats, waxes, sterols, fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamins A, D, E, and K), monoglycerides, diglycerides, triglycerides, phospholipids, and others.

d. Vitamins - is an organic compound required by an organism as a vital nutrient in limited amounts

e. Minerals are the chemical elements required by living organisms, other than the four elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen present in common organic molecules.

3. Human nutritional diet can be met by eating some foods from each of the four groups daily.

4 Food Group Categories

a. Milk and dairy products are for calcium, proteins and other minerals.

b. Meat, fish, poultry or egg for protein, fats and vitamins. (luxury food)

c. Grain and starchy vegetables are for carbohydrates, vitamins and proteins. (staple food)

d. Fruits and vegetables are for carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and some proteins.

World Food Preference

The traditional diet of various people in the world differs tremendously.

East Africa - berries, grains, vegetables, milk and blood from cattle

Polynesian – coconut, fish bread fruit, taro, tropical fruits and occasional pork and poultry

American and Europe – bread, turkey and beef

Filipino – boiled rice, fish or meat with vegetable

The Politics of Hunger

“The problem of hunger is largely the...
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