Eating (the verb) is the activity of taking in food. The term food (the noun) is also used for the substance that is eaten.

People and animals should regularly take in food to get energy and nutrients for the body. The cause is usually a feeling of hunger.

Food and cultural differences

In Western cultures, the food is usually divided into small bite-sized portions. Hot meals are generally eaten with a knife and fork. Soup is spooned in. In some countries it is eaten with chopsticks.

Handy food such as an apple is often held by hand for a bite with the front and canines. After filling the mouth, the food is ground into small pieces by chewing and mixed with saliva. After some time of chewing, the food is swallowed so that it can digest further in the body.

English breakfast


Due to a structured existence, humans in most cases eat about three times a day. At these three moments one takes a meal, in other words, one eats food:

  • In the morning, after getting up and before engaging in daily activities, breakfast is served as the first meal of the day.
  • In the middle of the day, usually between 12 noon and 2 am, and depending on the time available, they partake of a midday meal. This is usually referred to as lunch or lunch.
  • After returning home from the afternoon activities, and thus late in the afternoon or early in the evening, usually between 5 and 7 o’clock, one takes an evening meal. This is usually referred to as dinner, dinner or hot meal.
  • Mid-morning and afternoon, the work rhythm is often interrupted by a short break during which coffee or tea is drunk and a snack is often eaten.

A breakfast in combination with lunch, so a breakfast late in the morning but before noon, is called brunch.

Each of the three meals has its own character, determined by its cultural developments and local customs. For example, each of the three meals can consist of cold and / or warm dishes.

The evening meal is usually the main meal of the day, so called because a greater variety of food is often consumed in the company of family, friends or television. A typical evening meal often consists of a main course and a dessert (‘dessert’), possibly a starter.

In some cases the term dinner is used for the evening meal. A dinner is usually more extensive than the average evening meal, takes place with several people, often has a festive character, and sometimes takes place earlier in the afternoon. If there is an opportunity to dance during dinner, it is called a dinner dance.

It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to transmit the ‘feeling of satisfaction’ to the brain. Then the feeling of hunger or appetite disappears because the adequate energy intake has been reached.