Plants Are Food Factories

Many of the things we use are made in factories. Cars, for example, are made in factories. A factory takes raw materials and turns them into new products. Steel is turned into car bodies. Rubber is turned into car tires. Cloth is turned into car seats.

Photosynthesis: Plants are like factories that make food. How do they do it? The process is called photosynthesis (foe toe SIN thuh sis). Photo means "light." Synthesis means "putting together." Plants use light from the sun to put together raw materials to make their own food in a process called photosynthesis.

Plants need sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to make food. Plants use the raw materials of water, nutrients they absorb from soil, and carbon dioxide to make sugars the plant can use. Energy from the sun and chlorophyll are also needed. Plants use about ninety percent of the food they make to grow and reproduce. About ten percent is stored in the plant's tissues. When animals eat plants, they take in the stored energy.

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