Great question. I can see how the use of words
like “food” and “nutrition” can be confusing
because they have different meanings to different
Here’s my joke answer: “If you want to make
dinner, don’t you need ingredients?” Even if you
are a very hard worker, you can’t make something
Here’s a longer answer:
Everything is made of MATTER. When
biologists talk about nutrients, we mean the
matter that makes up building blocks of life.
For example, atoms like carbon, hydrogen, oxygen,
phosphorus, and nitrogen form the most important
biological molecules (proteins, carbohydrates,
fats, DNA, etc.). There are many other nutrients
that living things (including plants) need in
smaller amounts, like iron, calcium, and zinc.
Plants take in their carbon through their leaves
as CO2 (carbon dioxide). All the rest,
they bring up through their roots.
All life requires ENERGY. Autotrophs get their
energy from light. The energy allows them to
do work, like put the building blocks together
into the molecules and larger structures (cells,
for example) that living things need. Plants
can’t transform energy into matter.
Here’s an example. Plants make “food” like
sugars and starches. The nutrients are the
ingredients they need. The energy to take
apart water and carbon dioxide, then put the atoms
together into sugar and starch molecules comes
from the sun.
So I have a question for you that will require you
to do some research. If Venus fly traps do
photosynthesis, why do they need to eat bugs?
You may be interested in studying plant
Thanks for asking,