A staple food, sometimes simply referred to as a staple, is a food that is eaten routinely, and in such quantities that it constitutes a dominant portion of a standard diet in a given population, supplying a large fraction of the needs for energy-rich materials and generally a significant proportion of the intake of other nutrients as well. Most people live on a diet based on just a small number of staples.
Staple foods vary from place to place and species to species, but typically they are inexpensive or readily available foods that supply one or more of the three organic macronutrients needed for survival and health: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Typical examples of staples include tuber- or root-crops, grains, legumes, and other seeds. The staple food of a specific society may be eaten as often as every day, or every meal.