What is a staple food?
What are some examples of staple foods?
What factors contribute to the dominant staple foods in different parts of the world?
Which crops provide 2/3 of human food consumption?
What percentage of the food eaten by half the population of sub-Saharan Africa comes from roots and tubers?
Why have many countries shifted away from low-nutrient-density staple foods?
What is the negative impact of higher levels of carbon dioxide on some staple foods?
What is the nutrient-deficiency disease associated with a diet consisting primarily of maize?
What is the nutrient-deficiency disease associated with a diet of refined white rice?
Staple Foods: A Summary
- A staple food is a food that is regularly consumed in large quantities and provides a significant proportion of a person or group's dietary needs.
- Staple foods can be derived from vegetables or animal products, and typically include cereals, starchy tubers or root vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, and dried legumes.
- The dominant staple foods in different parts of the world are a function of weather patterns, local terrain, farming constraints, acquired tastes, and ecosystems.
- 15 plant crops provide 90% of the world's food energy intake, with rice, maize, and wheat comprising 2/3 of human food consumption.
- Roots and tubers are important staples for over one billion people in the developing world, accounting for roughly 40% of the food eaten by half the population of sub-Saharan Africa.
- With economic development and free trade, many countries have shifted away from low-nutrient-density staple foods to higher-nutrient-density staples, as well as towards greater meat consumption.
- Most staple food is currently produced using modern, conventional farming practices, but the production of staple food using organic farming methods is growing.
- Consumed in isolation, staple foods do not provide the full range of essential nutrients.
- The nutrient-deficiency disease pellagra is associated with a diet consisting primarily of maize, while the disease beriberi is associated with a diet of refined white rice.
- The nutritional value of some staple foods is negatively affected by higher levels of carbon dioxide, as occurs in climate change.
- Potatoes, although a staple food, must be cooked, but should not be sprouted.
- The table in the text compares the nutrient content of 10 major staple vegetable foods in raw form on a dry weight basis to account for their different water contents.
How much do you know about staple foods? Take this quiz to test your knowledge on the basics of staple foods, including their definition, types, and nutritional value. Learn interesting facts about the dominant staple foods in different parts of the world, their role in providing dietary needs, and how they are affected by climate change. Challenge yourself and see how much you know about this essential aspect of our diet!
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