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Research Guides

WRIT 128: Writing About Food and Culture: Home

Food Encyclopedias

Explore topics in food studies and gather background information with these reference sources.

For more background information and overviews of food studies topics, search one of our reference databases:

Credo Reference

Gale Virtual Reference Library

Oxford Reference Online

You can also use SuperSearch and use the Content Type: Reference to filter for encyclopedias and other reference sources.

Featured Books in Food Studies


This guide aims to point you to some useful starting places for your research on food and culture. Please feel free to contact me for help navigating these resources or finding sources for your individual research topics. I'm happy to work with you on any aspect of the research process.

– Karen Storz, Research & Instruction Librarian

Starting Your Research

SuperSearch can be a great place to start to find out what's out there on a topic you're interested in. SuperSearch will find books, films, journal articles, news, and almost everything else the library has — from popular to scholarly sources. You can use the filters on the results screen to improve your results.

For searching with more focus and precision, try one of the databases recommended on this guide, or search the Library Catalog for books.

Some Databases for Food Studies Research


Environmental Issues

Food & Culture


Health & Nutrition


Politics, Policy, and Sociology

See our Databases A-Z page to find other relevant databases.

Choosing a Topic is Research!

Watch this 3-minute video about how picking and adjusting your topic is an integral part of the research process! (from North Carolina State University Libraries)

Find Books on Food & Culture

Catalog Search Tips

Try a keyword search. Once you find a book that's relevant to your topic, click on the title and look for Subjects in the record of that book to help you find "more like this."

Sample keyword search for

  • food insecurity

leads to linked subject terms and more books related to this topic:


Some useful subject terms for browsing food studies topics in the catalog:

Food -- Social aspects Nutrition
Food History Nutrition Policy
Food Habits Gastronomy
Cooking Cooking -- History
African American Cooking Sustainable Agriculture

Not finding enough, or found an item that's checked out? Search WorldCat and request a copy through Interlibrary Loan.

Don't know where to find a book in the Library? Check out this quick guide.

Documentary Films

Library Locations & Call Numbers

Quick Guide to Clapp Library Locations

Call # / Location  
Call Numbers A-DZ
Knapp Multimedia Ctr
Computer Classroom
First Floor
Computing Help Desk
Research Help Desk
Reference Books
Science Collection
Second Floor
Call Numbers E-PM
Third Floor
Call Numbers PN-Z
Special Collections
Book Arts Lab
Fourth Floor


How to find items by call number

Student Library Research Awards

2022 submissions are open!


These awards were created to reward students who take the time to develop a thoughtful, methodical, and scholarly approach to the research needed for their papers and projects, as well as to encourage students to develop good research techniques.

Find out more at the Student Library Research Awards site

Karen Storz

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Karen Storz
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Schedule an Appointment

Research & Instruction Librarian
Office: Clapp Library 218B

Selected Food Studies Resources on the Web

See the Primary Sources page of this guide for collections of digitized historical materials.