Food that is consumed on a regular, often daily, basis by most of the population and which usually provides a major portion of their calorie intake. For example, millet is the staple food of numerous countries in Sahelian West Africa, maize is the staple in many South American communities, and rice constitutes the staple in many Asian countries. For purposes of this manual, some items of lesser caloric value may also be considered staples if consumed on a near-daily basis. Such items include oils, chills, and onions.
A staple food is a food that forms the basis of a traditional diet, particularly that of the poor. Staple foods vary from place to place, but are typically inexpensive starchy foods of vegetable origin that are high in food energy and that can be stored for use throughout the year. Although nutritious, staple foods generally do not by themselves provide a full range of nutrients, so other foods need to be added to the diet to prevent malnutrition.