What is a Food Staple?
A food staple is a food that makes up the dominant part of a population's diet. Food staples are eaten regularly, even daily. They supply a major proportions of a person's energy and nutritional needs.
Some examples of food staples are: Rice, potatoes, flour, bread, cereals, and grains
Rice is the staple food of more than half of the world’s population – more than 3.5 billion people depend on rice for more than 20% of their daily calories.
The US is the world's largest corn grower, producing more than 40% of the world's corn. Corn is used in a variety of ways and can be stored relatively easily. This is why it is such a popular food staple.
Wheat was first domesticated in the Middle East and today, the largest wheat produces are China, India, the US, Russia and France.
Other Staple Foods
Roots and Tubers
In addition to cereal grains, roots and tubers are common food staples, particularly in tropical regions. Yams are an important food in the rain forests of West africa. They are most omonly peeled, boiled and pounded into a pulp to make a dough called fufu.
Although cereal grains and tubers make up the majority of the world’s food staples, they are not the only dominant foods in the world. The Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania have traditionally relied on food provided by cattle for the majority of their diet. Milk, meat, and blood are traditional ingredients in Maasai diets. Today, grain has become a staple food of the Maasai, but they still drink large quantities of milk—about 1 liter per person per day.