The short answer to this, is they make it. Plants are able to obtain nutrients from their surroundings and convert them into an energy source that’s readily usable and universally enjoyed: sugar. I like to think of plants as food engineers; they create their own food, from nothing more than light, water and a few base chemicals. It’s this initial source of energy storage, that feeds the world and satisfies its energy requirements. If you’ve sat in a biology class odds are you’ve already heard of this as a fancier term: photosynthesis. But just how does it work?
When light hits these cells, it allows the water and nutrients to combine and form glucose aka tasty sugar and oxygen. Since the plants are only interested in the tasty food they just made, it’s stored safely in the cell while the oxygen is exhaled by the plant as a by-product of this glorious process.
And now you know what plants eat- sugar- and more interestingly where they get it from. If you’re more interested in the technical process of photosynthesis (like the exact process on a cellular level or types of photosynthesis) there’s a great video by crash course that goes more in-depth on these matters (you can watch it here). If you by chance aren’t much for technicalities a/o aren’t beefing up for a test, I hope this short explanation has helped you understand why plants rock. There production of food feeds literally every other organism either directly or indirectly; not to mention they supply the oxygen we breath. But there’s one big question mark: how do plants keep making sugar? Wouldn’t they eventually run out of carbon to use? To answer that question, we’ll need to delve into the mysterious world of fungi and talk about one of my favorite topics next post: rot.