Food is composed of essential vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins and carbohydrates that allow living organisms to live and thrive. Food made from animal or plant matter can be processed and manufactured or farmed (e.g. the farming of fish and other aquatic life known as aquaculture).

Manufactured food includes artificial and natural ingredient blends (such as sausage or soft drinks) and pre-processed meals (such as jarred sauces and adulterated pastas). A subset, genetically manufactured food includes altered tomatoes to enhance appetitive value. Examples of plant-derived food are rice, oats, wheat, barley and other grains; beans; leaf, stem and root vegetables; and fruits such as pumpkin, apples and oranges. Animal-derived food includes diary products, meat such as beef and poultry, pork and sea food. Fungi-based food is matter such as mushrooms.

The human diet must contain a certain amount of ingredients to sustain proper nutrition--the USDA food pyramid visually outlines this essential daily diet and includes fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, dairy and fats that make up a healthy daily intake, particularly for maturing children. Without required ingredients, physical ailments may ensue.

Numerous cultures take special heed od how food is prepared and presented, especially in the case of celebration, festivals, religious events and holidays. Various styles of ethnic food preparation have received high entertainment value--evidenced by the variety of cook books, food channels and internet recipes available. The internet is becoming an increasingly popular source of information on health food, organic food and ethnic food, Chinese food and Mexican food to name two such sorts. Gastronomes the world round appreciate the growing food network in several forms of media.