Food is any substance normally eaten or drunk by living organisms. The term food also includes liquid drinks. Food is the main source of energy and of nutrition for animals, and is usually of animal or plant origin.
The study of food is called food science. In English, the term food is often used metaphorically or figuratively, as in food for thought.
Food production or acquisition
Food is traditionally obtained through farming, ranching, and fishing, with hunting, foraging and other methods of subsistence locally important for some populations, but minor for others.
In the modern era, in developed nations, food supply is increasingly dependent upon agriculture, industrial farming, aquaculture and fish farming techniques which aim to maximise the amount of food produced, whilst minimising the cost. These include a reliance on mechanised tools which have been developed, from the threshing machine, seed drill, through to the tractor and combine harvester, etc. These have been combined with the use of pesticides to promote high crop yields and combat those insects or mammals which reduce yield.
More recently, there has been a growing trend towards more Sustainable agricultural practices. This approach - which is partly fuelled by consumer demand - encourages biodiversity, local self-reliance and Organic farming methods.
Major influences on food production are international policy, e.g. the World Trade Organization and Common Agricultural Policy, national government policy or law and war.
Food for livestock is fodder and traditionally comprises hay or grain.