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worldTSEM102: Green Eating on a Blue Planet
Finding Resources on Food

Overview & Facts
  Course Text: Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity


Food Security [ Global Issues]

  • Available in Reference Stacks: Ref HD9000.5 P2857 2012
  • Introduction gives a summary of the issue, international history, and counterstragies
  • Following chapters present the situation in the United States, Bangladesh, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, and Yemen
  • Part II provides a list of primary sources including U.S. and international documents
  • Part III includes statistics, people, organizations and agencies that deal with food security issues
  • An annotated bibliography leads to materials on U.S. and worldwide food security, food safety and health, and the history of hunger and famine

Gale Virtual Reference Library - includes several encyclopedias which have relevant articles on the social and ethical aspects surrounding food

Sage Knowledge - includes several encyclopedias which have relevant articles on the various issues surrounding food

CQ Researcher is a magazine-type publication that provides background information on topics of wide interest

  • Check for the following reports: Genetically Modifed Food, Rising Food Prices, Global Food Crisis, Farm Policy (US), Slow Food Movement, Food Safety, Famine in Africa, Regulating Pesticides, Factory Farms, Regulating Toxic Chemicals, Fish Farming, Resource Curse

Encyclopedia of Earth is a freely searchable online encyclopedia that has articles written by professors, professionals, and other experts

GreenR offers information from a wide variety of sources including: reference; magazine, newspaper & journal articles; statistics, and other primary sources (reports)

  • Browse the topic Agriculture and Food Systems to see what topics are covered, including Food Safety, Food Security, Green Revolution, Urban Farming, and others
  • Select Overview for background information

Some of the websites for organizations listed below also provide overviews of topics related to food

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Films on Demand
is a research database that provides streaming video of films on many academic topics, including food supply, food security, global hunger, agriculture and related topics.
video See the help guide video: Finding Books with Cook OneSearch

You can use either Cook OneSearch or the Library/USMAI Catalog to find books.

Check the Library Catalog for books available at Cook Library. If you want a larger selection of books available in all of the University System of Maryland libraries, check the USMAI Catalog.

  • A good way to see what types of book the library has on food or agriculture, is to change word/s anywhere to subject beginning with... and type food, which is the subject used by librarians who catalog books
    • In particular, look for subheadings under food/ food industry and trade/ food supply such as: social aspects; environmental aspects; political aspects; internatioanl cooperation; moral and ethical aspects
  • Another example might be subject beginning with... agricultural
  • Other possibilities include searches such as: food nutrition, pesticides, malnutrition, or some of the other topics found in encyclopedia articles
  • If you are interested in books on an issue in a particular country, you can add the name of the country to your search
Magazine, Newspaper, & Journal Articles
video See the help guide videos: Scholarly vs. Popular: What's the Difference?, Finding Articles with Cook OneSearch and Finding Articles: Getting Started in EBSCO Databases

You can use Cook OneSearch or go directly to research databases such as Academic Search (and choose others) to find articles on your topic. The advanced search features of both are similar, but the research database search allows additional options for refining a search.

For a search that deals with multidimensional aspects of food, food consumption, food security, including social, political, economic, ethical, and scientific, combine several Ebsco databases. This will allow you to search for articles in a broad range of disciplines for journals and magazines.

  • You can most often use the same subject terms that you used to search for books in the USMAI Catalog
  • Begin with Academic Search > once in it, click on Choose Databases > select GreenFile, Social Sciences Abstracts, SocINDEX > click on OK
    • Click on Advanced Search > enter your keywords in the boxes

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Search for reliable websites using the Intergovernmental Search Engine or the Non-governmental Organizations Search, a general Google search (but use caution to pick reliable sites) or search the individual organizational websites, some of which are listed below.



  • A directory of reliable web information produced by authoritative organizations and a good place to explore potential research topics
  • Includes links to statistical sources, reports, and news items
  • Includes resources on agriculture and food security

Intergovernmental Organization Search Engine

  • Custom search engine that searches through intergovernmental (e.g. UN, EU, WB, FAO, WHO, UNESCO) organization sites, providing background and commentary on international issues

Non-governmental Organizations Search

  • Custom search engine that searches through non-governmental organization sites, providing backgound and commentary on international issues
  World Food Programme - agency devoted to fighting hunger (overview of hunger & malnutrition)

United Nations

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International Food Policy Research Institute

  • Identifies and analyzes policies for meeting the food needs of the developing world
  • Researches topics including food as it relates to agriculture & health, climate change, gender, poverty, and water policy
  • A good site for finding country-targeted information
  • Publishes the Global Hunger Index which ranks the most food-insecure countries and Global Food Policy Report which covers developments in climate change and agriculture, food prices, disasters, biofuels, environment, and food, nutrition and health, and land degradation


  • Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a project of USAID that tracks food security issues around the world which provides information in support of developing infrastructure,strengthening consensus, and policy development
  • Search for information by country; also includes maps
  • Particularly useful for information on tracking current conditions such as drought and weather hazards that lead to famine in Africa and Central America

World Resources Institute


World Bank: Food Crisis


Fighting Hunger: European Commission for Development and Cooperation

  • Presents the European Union's role in food security

WorldWatch Institute: Food & Agriculture

  • See blog on Nourishing the Planet
  • State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet -available in print in Cook Library: HC59 S74 2011
    • Some content of this report is also available online
  • Nourishing the Planet blog also lists additional reports that have been published on farming and land use, cost of meat and seafood, fish farming, farming in cities, which can be found in earlier State of the World Reports also found in the 5th floor stacks: HC59 S74 2011
  • Cook Library also has print copies of the annual publication, Vital Signs - HC10 V53 2012 - latest in Reference, earlier editions in 5th floor stacks

Earth Policy Institute

  • Lester R. Brown, author of the book: Full Planet, Empty Plates is the president of this organization
  • Check out the Data Center, which provides statistics on Food and Agriculture and other related topics

Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition

  • Publishes on various topics related to food, some of which are available online


  • Organization that focuses on hunger in Africa

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

  • Focus on policy and practice for issues locally and globally including agriculture, food, food justice, and globalization

Food Environment Atlas [United States Department of Agriculture]

  • Using statistics such as grocery store/restaurant proximity, food prices, food/nutrition assistance programs, and community characteristics, this atlas indicates accessibility to healthy foods
  • See also, Food Access Research Atlas , which is a " tool for mapping food deserts and exploring access to healthy and affordable foods nationwide." - from the website
    • Indicates patterns of food access for low-income based on factors including supermarket accessibility

City Farmer News

  • Website from Vancouver Canada that focuses on issues related to urban farming around the world
  • Check for categories such as the name of a country , aquaculture, climate change, fertilizers, livestock
Chicago Author-Date Style

See the
Chicago Author-Date Style Guide for examples of how to cite encyclopedia and journal articles, books, websites and various other materials.

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The URL for this Web page is http://pages.towson.edu/sara/food.html

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