Food is any material eaten to give nutrition to organisms. Generally, food is generally of animal, plant or fungal source, and includes necessary nutrients, like protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, or other minerals. The nutritional value of food is determined by the proportions of the various elements present, the proportions in which they are present in the same quantity in different foods, and their respective availability. A balanced diet is the chief key to healthy living, leading to long life and good health.
One of the best ways to ensure healthy dietary requirements and improve nutrition is through food systems. Food systems refer to a set of related activities aimed at developing and maintaining healthy and sustainable communities. The food system cannot be considered as a single step towards healthy living. Rather, it is a set of activities that facilitate the provision of food and maintain healthy dietary requirements. The food system helps in the better use and access of healthy foods, builds up the capacity of the food system, ensures nutritional education and awareness, and helps in developing and preserving the ecosystems that support human communities.
Food habits and needs of humans have changed radically over the course of history. The evolution of food has been affected by all the major socio-economic, ecological and technological changes and the results are today, many people in this world do not get enough nutrients from the foods that they eat, and there is a major lack of balance in the nutritional content of the food that they eat. Food absorption has become very important for humans and research is underway to develop better techniques for improving absorption. Food systems have a critical role in ensuring optimal intake of essential nutrients required for the maintenance of good health and fitness.