Salad is a popular, ready-to-eat dish made of heterogeneous ingredients in a wet or once-wet base, usually served chilled or at a moderate temperature. Many people use the word "salad" to describe light, savory leafy vegetable dishes, most often served with a sauce or dressing, but the category may additionally include dishes made of ingredients such as fruits, grains, meats, seafood and sweets. It is difficult to define what is meant by the term "salad", as it encompasses a wide array of serving styles and options. Though many salads use raw ingredients, some use cooked ingredients; most salads use vegetables, though fruit salads also exist. A salad must have a minimum of three ingredients.
Most salads are served cold, although some, such as south German potato salad, are served warm. Some consider the warmth of a dish a factor that excludes it from the salad category. These people may call the warm mixture a casserole, a sandwich topping or more specifically, name it for the ingredients which comprise it, e.g. potatoes in, say, a mayo base cooked with bacon.
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism's cells in an effort to produce energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth.
Food safety and food security are monitored by agencies like the International Association for Food Protection, World Resources Institute, World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization, and International Food Information Council. They address issues such as sustainability, biological diversity, climate change, nutritional economics, population growth, water supply, and access to food.