Eating (also known as consuming) is the ingestion of food to provide for all organisms their nutritional or medicinal needs, particularly for energy and growth. Animals and other heterotrophs must eat in order to survive: carnivores eat other animals, herbivores eat plants, omnivores consume a mixture of both plant and animal matter, and detritivores eat detritus. Fungi digest organic matter outside of their bodies as opposed to animals that digest their food inside their bodies. For humans, eating is an activity of daily living.
Eating practices among humans
Many homes have a kitchen room or outside (in the tropics) kitchen area devoted to preparation of meals and food, and may have a dining room, dining hall, or another designated area for eating. Some trains have a dining car. Dishware, silverware, drinkware, and cookware come in a wide array of forms and sizes. Most societies also have restaurants, food courts, and/or food vendors, so that people may eat when away from home, when lacking time to prepare food, or as a social occasion (dining club). At their highest level of sophistication, these places become "theatrical spectacles of global cosmopolitanism and myth." At picnics, potlucks, and food festivals, eating is in fact the primary purpose of a social gathering. At many social events, food and beverages are made available to attendees.
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