In one research source, много was described as an adjective with a number of examples. But it was also described as a noun, where, as here, there is specific noun attached to it.
I don't think that is correct, and it's simply a matter of it still being an adverb, but with an unstated noun attached, here "of food".
If it were a real noun, it could possibly be declined, and that doesn't seem to be the case - много is never declined - or is it?
Jeffrey, the point is that the -ого ending in много is not meant to form a genitive (from an adjective). Mного is the main form of the word, which appears in dictionary entries.
The phonetic change happens in genitive/animate accusative endings only, that accounts for 99% of -ого endings.
I just came here with same question. Wiktionary says it's an adverb, but some of the words that it translates mnogo with are not adverbs!
much: ok, also an adverb
a lot of: can be an adverb, but can also be a noun
many: a determiner
very: an adjective
I'm wondering now if our confusion stems from the English language, rather than the Russian...
It's not declined like a noun would be, but there are a comparative (бо́лее ) and a superlative form as for an adjective.
Also, it's followed by a noun that takes the genitive, sing. for non-countable nouns and plu. for countable nouns (мно́го examples here: https://en.openrussian.org/ru/%D0%BC%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B3%D0%BE). Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that adverbs/adj. normally trigger a particular case in a subsequent noun. Seems more like the behaviour of a preposition or a verb.
In the US also, although usually it has a noun attached and slurs the following article: "lots of beans" becomes "lotsa beans" or "lots of artichokes" becomes "lotsov artichose"
When by itself, it's used usually as a kind of emphatic answer: "Does he eat a lot of meat?" "Oh my, yes - lots and lots."
Actually lots is the informal way of saying a lot, so it is correct to use it. http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/lot_3
"Lots" slang for "a lot of", so it's not ok to use it. (At least "lotsa still retained the grammatical meaning, even if tge pronunciation was slurred). That's what I would have concluded, but it just goes to show how, in some matters, there's no right or wrong in language, just a matter of opinion.
Using lots instead of a lot sounds more slang to me, I am a native from the US; In grade school we would always be reminded that a lot =2 words, so it certainly was correct to use. 'Lots' just sounds slightly vulgar -like someone shoving (shoveling) food down their throats, I advise some discretion in its use plus I used to teach English -might be a bit picky. Of course in England they probably say it in a higher tone as if they were gathering heather while they were saying it or daffydowndillys and the like!
The word "always" is an adverb typically placed between the main subject and the main verb, so 'they always eat' The only time I think this isn't the case is in a literary context, such as 'I will love you always' or 'always I will be with you' but it sounds awkward otherwise.