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ESL 24 (DeBakcsy/Payne) - Food Issues: Websites

Open Websites

Open websites, or those freely available on the web using a search engine like Google, are becoming increasingly valuable to researchers as more and more government, educational institutions, and foundations are providing information and data about their work online. While there is A LOT of great information out there, remember that anyone can put information on the open web, so evaluating the material to make sure it is credible becomes more difficult and important.

Many of the best sites to use are those from education (.edu), government (.gov), and private organizations & foundations (.org). To easily search for sites from these entities, use the "site:" search to limit your results.

Some example searches: "diabetes site:.gov"

Find Websites

Internet Resources

Nutrition.gov: Providing easy, online access to government information on food and human nutrition for consumers. A service of the National Agricultural Library, USDA.

ChooseMyPlate.gov: Features practical information and tips to help you build a healthier diet based on USDA's new food guidance icon, MyPlate.

Fitness.gov: Provides information about the President's Council Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.

FoodSafety.gov: A gateway web site that provides links to selected government food safety-related information, including food recalls and alerts.

Michaelpollan.comList of food issue web resources as compiled by Omnivore's Dilemma author Michael Pollan.  

Evaluating Websites: Practice Site

Is This a Good Source?

The quality of the information you find on the Web varies tremendously so it is always a good idea to check the information against another source. As with all information resources, whether in print or on the Internet, you evaluate its quality based on the following criteria:

  • Accuracy (Is it free from mistakes and errors?)
  • Authority (What are the qualifications of the author?)
  • Objectivity (Is there any strong bias?)
  • Currency (Is the information up to date?)
  • Coverage (To what extent is the topic explored?)

Here are more questions to ask yourself!

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