the article discusses the value and importance of the self-consumption production in the social reproduction of the family units and it characterizes the food self-consumed. the paper used the research "family farm, local development and pluriactivity" (ufrgs/ ufpel/cnpq-2003) that propitiated the formation of a database with information on the dynamics of the family farm in four areas different from the geography of the rio grande do sul, your sources and types of income, among these the self-consumption. to bring this debate means to retake a theme little discussed until then, and that, although marginalized or considered without importance, it develops important role as income non monetary, strengthens the food security and it penetrates spheres of the sociability and social identity. besides the introduction, is presented the role of the self-consumption in the family farm, the calculation of the self-consumption production, discussion of the objectives and results, and final considerations. the results demonstrate that the self-consumption production is an appealing strategy for the family units and it differs in agreement with the dynamics of the family farm. it differentiates this expresses in relative values (%) and in the number of establishments belonging to differentiated strata of self-consumption, and a little in the types of foods produced for this end, being observed a homogeneity of the alimentary habits.