Some of the foods we eat come from animals such as beef, lamb, pork, fish and chicken, while others come from plants. Vegetables, cereals, legumes and fruit are plant foods. We also eat food that animals make, such as eggs and milk.
Some of the foods we eat come from animals, including beef, veal, lamb, pork, fish and chicken. Other foods come from plants, including rice, wheat, fruit, beans and vegetables.
We also eat food that animals make. For example, chickens produce eggs and cows give milk. Plants produce food too, such as edible fruits. Plant and animal foods are used to make other foods, such as bread and cheese.
Many processed foods use a combination of foods from animal and plant sources. Biscuits are made from flour (food from a plant) while also containing butter and milk (food sourced from an animal).
How we get food from animals
Some foods are produced from the flesh or internal organs of animals, such as:
- beef, lamb, kangaroo, pork and mutton (red meats)
- chicken and fish (white meats)
- heart, liver, kidneys and brains (organ meats).
Other animal foods, such as eggs, milk and honey, are produced by animals over their lifetimes.
Foods from animal source are high in protein, they usually are also high in fat. Vitamin B12 and vitamin D are also present in many animal foods, these vitamins are not found in plant foods.
Cheese is an animal food
Cheese is made from milk, so it is also an animal food. Other foods made from milk are butter, cream and yoghurt.
How we get food from plants
Fruit is one of the many foods we get from plants. Other parts of plants we use for food include:
- leaves and stems – celery, lettuce, silver beet
- roots – potatoes, carrots, beetroot, cassava, radish, parsnip
- seeds – wheat, rice, legumes, ground nuts (peanuts), tree nuts (walnuts, almonds).
Foods from plants are packed with many nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Dietary fibre is found only in plants.
Cakes are made mainly from plant food
Most cakes are made from flour. Flour is made from wheat, which is a seed made by plants. Other foods made from wheat include:
Where to get help
- local food suppliers
- food retailers
Things to remember
- Animal foods include meat, eggs and milk.
- Cheese and yoghurt are made from milk, which is an animal food.
- Plant foods include vegetables, fruit, wheat and rice.
You might also be interested in:
- Food variety and a healthy diet.
- Fruit and vegetables.
- Healthy eating for kids.
- Healthy eating tips.
- Vegetarian and vegan eating.
Want to know more?
Go to More information for support groups, related links and references.
This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by:
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Deakin University - Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
Fact sheet currently being reviewed.
Last reviewed: July 2012
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