They ensure the basic supply of carbohydrates , protein and fat , but not necessarily a sufficient supply of vitamins and trace elements . The world's most important staple foods include cereals such as wheat or rice , storage roots ( tubers , rhizomes ) such as potatoes or yams , legumes such as lentils and beans and fruits such as dates and figs , or products made from them such as porridge and bread . The staple foods also include fish , meat , milk and eggs , which, along with legumes, are among the most commonly consumed sources of protein.
Which staple foods are consumed regionally depends heavily on cultural, climatic and economic factors. Today only a dozen or so foods serve as real staple foods for the greater part of the world's population.
Cereals and pseudograins
- Wheat , which together with maize and rice is the most widely grown grain in the world, is a staple food for people in many countries as a bread grain . At the same time it is of great importance in animal fattening . Durum wheat is particularly suitable for the production of pasta (durum wheat semolina).
- Rye is used as a bread grain , particularly in Northern , Central and Eastern Europe . The comparatively high lysine share, rye become an important part of a balanced diet .
- Rice is the traditional staple food in Chinese , Japanese and Korean cuisine and is known as gohan in Japan . This word has two meanings: on the one hand short grain rice and on the other hand it stands for food or food par excellence. Due to the polishing of brown rice and the triumph of white rice (see bran ), vitamin deficiency diseases such as beri-beri have spread to a large extent and mainly affected the poorer sections of the population. These deficiency symptoms were the reason for the discovery of vitamins in 1912 .
- Glutinous rice is the staple food in the north and northeast ( Isan ) of Thailand as well as in Laos .
- Different millet species in many areas of Africa and Asia , the staple food.
- Corn is now grown worldwide and is a staple food in many countries, especially in Africa.
- Quinoa comes from South America , where it has been a staple food along with amaranth for 6000 years. They were especially cultivated in the Andes plateaus (over 4000 m). There they were indispensable for the people, as maize could no longer be grown at these heights.
- Amaranth was a staple food alongside quinoa and corn for the Aztecs , Inca and Maya . Today we know that amaranth has a far higher protein and mineral content than the grains traditionally grown around the world. Carbohydrates and fiber are available in equal amounts.
- Buckwheat is a genus of plants in the knotweed family (Polygonaceae). The 15 to 16 species are common in Eurasia and Eastern Africa. Buckwheat fruits are gluten-free, and their flour therefore plays an important role in the diet of people with celiac disease . The best known species of the genus Fagopyrum is buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum).
- Bread . In ancient times , the Egyptians were also known as bread eaters. From Egypt the knowledge of bread baking reached Europe via Greece and the Roman Empire . After the fall of Rome , bread rose to the rank of a festive and gentleman's meal. It retained this position in Germany until after the Thirty Years' War and in Russia until the beginning of the 20th century.
- Couscous , cous cous or couscous is a Berber specialty and a staple food in North Africa . It is made from durum wheat semolina or - originally and sometimes still today - from millet .
- Bulgur is a staple food in the Middle East that, like couscous, is consumed as tabbouleh ( salad ).
- Chapati is the main food of the Hunzukuc and is also very common in Pakistan and northern India. One of barley , millet and wheat produced whole wheat bread .
- Nshima (comes from Zambia and Botswana ), Mealie Pap (from South Africa ), Akple (from the Volta region ), Phutu (from the Zulu ), Ugali (from Kenya ) or Tô (from Benin ) is a porridge made from cornmeal and water , which is a staple food in South and West African countries.
- A precursor of polenta , pulse or pulmentum , was one of the staple foods of the cuisine of ancient Rome, beginning from millet, spelled , or chickpea flour prepared later from barley or a particular kind of wheat, far . After 1650, corn began to become popular in Italian cuisine as granoturco , "Turkish grain" . In the 17th century, corn porridge was a common "poor people's meal" from Spain to southern Russia. In northern Italy , polenta has remained so popular to this day that the southern Italians call their northern compatriots polentoni somewhat derogatory .
Root and sprout tubers
- Potatoes . Country of origin of the potato is the Andean highland between today Peru and Bolivia . In Prussia , Frederick the Great spread the potato. During industrialization , fruit and vegetables were practically inaccessible to the urban proletariat . The main food, potatoes, provided not only the necessary energy but also trace elements and vitamins (especially vitamin C ) in a way that probably no other main food could have done ( cultural history of the potato ).
- Batate (sweet potato). It is native to Central America; they brought released African slaves from America to Africa. Today it is grown in almost all warmer countries in the tropics , subtropics and temperate zones of the world. The largest producer of potato in the world is China .
- Cassava was first cultivated by the indigenous people of South America and is still an important food staple in Brazil today . Cassava is also used intensively and with pleasure in Central Africa ( Cameroon , Gabon , Congo , etc.). Fufu or Foutou is a porridge made from cassava and plantains , which in Ghana whole and West Africa is the main ingredient of many dishes.
- Yams is a climber native to the tropics whose tuberous roots, due to their starch content, serve as food like potatoes. Yams are one of the staple foods in West African cuisine .
- Due to the poor supply situation in Germany in the winter of 1916/1917 during the First World War, large parts of the population had to be fed with dishes made from turnips in soup kitchens . " Turnip soup in the morning , turnip chops at noon , turnip cakes in the evening ." This earned turnips a lasting bad reputation.
- The lentil was one of the staple foods in ancient Egypt and was also known in Israel . Today, lentils are mainly grown in Spain, Russia, Chile , Argentina , the USA , Canada and the Middle East . In India alone there are over 50 varieties.
- Soy products are part of many processed foods today. For direct human consumption, the fresh green pods are used ( pods ) of soybean or different protein products such as tofu and soy sauce . There are also other preparations such as miso soup or Yuba .
- Meat and poultry
- Milk (and its products ). In cultures that most of shepherds and nomads emerged, is the dairy animal attitude, milk and its products at the center of nutrition and life, such as in the Christian and the Islamic world.
- Fish is consumed all over the world. The Japanese have by far the largest per capita consumption. Today there is an acute threat from overfishing of the world's oceans .
- Fran Osseo-Asare: Food Culture in Sub-Saharan Africa. Greenwood Press, Westport CT / London 2005, pp. 18-20.