Foods designated food consisting mainly of the diet of people serve (see food ), macronutrients ( proteins , carbohydrates and lipids ) and therefore contain the human energy out. In this respect, food differs from drinking water , which is also a food. The counterpart are the so-called luxury foods . The border is blurred. Food for other living things is called animal feed .
In the past, attempts have been made to differentiate between food and luxury goods based on the material benefits for the body ( protein , carbohydrates , fats , vitamins, etc.) or the physiological calorific value . With increasing knowledge of ingredients, for example secondary plant substances, this traditional separation has become even more difficult. For example, can today spices may a concrete benefits of material explain where formerly only the pleasure than benefit was observed.
Today the distinction is mostly made on the basis of the consideration as a consumer good . The demarcation is thus subject to social change. The regionally and culturally most important foods are also referred to as staple foods , while rejection for cultural reasons is referred to as food taboo.
To supplement the diet, products with nutritionally relevant ingredients are offered in mostly concentrated form as dietary supplements .
Since both foodstuffs of vegetable and animal origin can contain toxicologically relevant substances, a special field of toxicology deals with the situation with food - also with regard to possible contaminants.