Where does food come from?

Ag Zone, Science for Youth June 12, 2014 Print Friendly and PDF

Every living creature on earth—from humans to protozoa—needs food in order to live. Food is energy. But how often do we think about where our food comes from? We go to the grocery and see shelves stacked with cans, boxes, fruits, and vegetables. But how did they get there?

Foods that we eat come from a variety of sources, many of which are grown on farms around the world. A lot of hard work goes into commercial food production. It all starts with a grower or farmer. From there, the whole food—apples, bananas, oranges, potatoes, and so on—goes to processors, transporters, packagers, and distribution centers before finally making it to your local retail grocer where you buy it.

Some of our food is left whole, like what you find in the fruit and vegetable section of the store—and some foods are processed and packaged into other products, such as bread and jelly.

Check out these websites to learn more about where your food comes from:

Fresh from the World...Where Your Food Comes From.

USDA Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.