Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism's cells in an effort to produce energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth.
Historically, people secured food through two methods: hunting and gathering, and agriculture. Today, most of the food energy consumed by the world population is supplied by the food industry.
Breakfast is the first meal taken after rising from a night's sleep, most often eaten in the early morning before undertaking the day's work. Among English speakers, "breakfast" can be used to refer to this meal or to refer to a meal composed of traditional breakfast foods (such as eggs, oatmeal and sausage) served at any time of day. The word literally refers to breaking the fasting period of the prior night.
Breakfast foods vary widely from place to place, but often include a carbohydrate such as grains or cereals, fruit and/or vegetables, a protein food such as eggs, meat or fish, and a beverage such as tea, coffee, milk or fruit juice. Coffee, milk, tea, juice, breakfast cereals, pancakes, sausages, French toast, bacon, sweet breads, fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, mushrooms, baked beans, muffins, crumpets and toast with butter or margarine and/or jam or marmalade are common examples of breakfast foods, though a large range of preparations and ingredients are associated with breakfast globally.
Pan frying is a form of frying characterized by the use of minimal cooking oil or fat (compared to shallow frying or deep frying); typically using just enough oil to lubricate the pan (although, in the case of a greasy food such as bacon, no oil or fats may be needed). As a form of frying, pan frying relies on oil as the heat transfer medium and on correct temperature and time to retain the moisture in the food. Because of the partial coverage, the food must be flipped at least once to cook both sides.
Generally, a shallower cooking vessel is used for pan frying than deep frying. Using a deep pan with a small amount of oil, butter or bacon grease does reduce spatter. A denser cooking vessel is better than a less dense pan because that mass will improve temperature regulation. An electric skillet can be used analogously to an electric deep fryer and many of these devices have a thermostat to keep the liquid (in this case, oil) at the desired temperature.
Gentle frying or low-temperature frying is an oil- or fat-based cooking method used for relatively fragile or starchy foods. While gentle frying is most notably used to cook fried eggs, it is also used for delicate fish tender cuts of meat sausages, and as a first step in fried potatoes.
Low-temperature frying is useful if the frying fat scorches at higher heat levels (e.g. butter), or if the frying fat has flavor that the cook wants to preserve (e.g. olive oil). Overheated oils can produce unhealthy, even carcinogenic, compounds.
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Chemical changes occur when a substance combines with another to form a new substance, called synthesis or, alternatively, decomposes into two or more different substances. These processes are called chemical reactions and, in general, are not reversible except by further chemical reactions. Some reactions produce heat and are called exothermic reactions and others may require heat to enable the reaction to occur, which are called endothermic reactions. Understanding chemical changes is a major part of the science of chemistry.
When chemical reactions occur, the atoms are rearranged and the reaction is accompanied by an energy change as new products are generated. An example of a chemical change is the reaction between sodium and water to produce sodium hydroxide and hydrogen. So much energy is released that the hydrogen gas released spontaneously burns in the air. This is an example of a chemical change because the end products are chemically different from the substances before the reaction.