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What we get from plants?

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We get fruit, vegetables and grains from plants.

Plants play a very important role for humans. There is a large variety of things that we can get from plants that can be categorized into four main groups. These groups are food, non-food products, aesthetic uses and scientific and cultural uses. Plants do have their negative effects on humans too. Weeds appear where they are not wanted and some plants are poisonous. These are both factors that we get from plants that could be considered a nuisance.

Food. One of the most important things that we get from plants is food. Most human nutrition depends on land plants either directly or indirectly. Cereals, staple crops, fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices are all essential to human diet. Beverages can also be gained from plants. Coffee, tea, wine, beer and other alcohol is all obtained by using plants. Sugar, cooking oils and food additives are also produced from the plants available within the environment. Finally, livestock animals that are killed for human food, eat grass and other plants. Indirectly, they are a food we get from plants.

Non-food products. One of the most obvious uses of plants for non-food products is wood. Wood is used for everything form buildings to musical instruments. Fuel such as coal and petroleum are derived from plants while hundreds of medicines are made in the same way. Plants are also the sources for a variety of natural products including essential oils, dyes, amber and cork.

Aesthetic uses. There are thousands of plants species that are cultivated just for aesthetic value. These species may also provide shade, reduce wind or provide privacy. Cut flowers, dried flowers and houseplants are all used as decorations while images of plants are used in an array of arts.

Scientific and cultural uses. Within science, trees are used as an important way of dating and recording climates. They can be used for biological research and it is suggested that space colonies may need to depend on them. Plants are seen within cultures as national emblems while flowers are given as gifts.
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