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Food Science & Nutrition

Finding Resources to Support Cal Poly's Diversity Learning Objectives

This guide is designed to help you identify discipline specific resources for incorporating Cal Poly's Diversity Learning Objectives into your courses. Each section addresses components of a DLO, and presents example resources and a strategy for finding more.  Each information source and example can relate to more than one DLO, and are just included to illustrate the specificity of available resources.  Leyla is happy to work with you individually or in groups to help you approach your search, and welcomes input on how to improve or augment this guide.  

Contributions of members of historically marginalized groups to knowledge and civilization

Archival Sources

California Cultures online exhibit in Calisphere
California Cultures documents California's rich history of diversity and multicultural contributions. The California Cultures project was specially charged with correcting the historic lack of digitized primary source materials for four major ethnic groups: African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans. More than 20,000 photographs, documents, and other materials tell their stories, struggles, and contributions.  Explore California Cultures by jumping into each of the four themes; or read the six historical essays to learn how California's diversity has evolved over time.

Kennedy Library's guide to searching in archives

The Reference and Instruction Specialist in Kennedy Library can work with you to identify and help students explore archival material relevant your course. 

Archives created with communities

Oral History Collection: Guadalupe Speaks

Welga Archive - Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies

Pioneering Punjabis Digital Archive

Scientific contributions

Profiles of diverse scientists in Project Biodiversify

Project Biodiversify provides ready-to-use examples of research concepts that highlight a diverse set of biologists.

Wikipedia Activism and Diversity in Science

This blog post describes how to get involved in enhancing the representation of diverse scientists in Wikipedia. 

Search beyond the predominant sources in your discipline

International and Multilingual Information Sources 

Systematic reviews and other formal evidence syntheses seek to minimize the effects of various kinds of bias on our understanding of a topic through transparent methodology and inclusion of grey literature and unpublished information. You can find them in dedicated repositories, or by including them as a concept in your search (some databases provide a filter option for Systematic Reviews). 

Nutrition Evidence Library (USDA)

Consider the possibility of language bias in information dissemination: "Studies publishing positive results might also be more likely to publish in English. Reading and using only English language research could provide a biased assessment of a topic" (Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, 2021)

This library guide lists diverse and regional collections of research literature. 

History of issues/Institutions and structures that create and maintain social, economic, and political inequality

Finding and following the communications of organizations and networks interested in the intersection of DEI and your discipline can provide leads. 

California Institute of Rural Studies

Cal Ag Roots podcast

"Shifting California Agriculture towards social, economic and environmental justice requires a clear-eyed understanding of how and why the current agricultural system developed." "Cal Ag Roots puts historical roots under current California food and farming change movements by telling the story of California agricultural development in innovative, useful and relevant ways."  

Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems

Measuring Racial Equity in the Food System: Established and Suggested Metrics

This tool offers an expansive list of metrics that U.S. food system practitioners and food movement organizations can use to hold ourselves accountable for progress towards a more equitable food system. The metrics are either currently in use or are recommended by food system practitioners and food movement organizations in the United States.  The metrics are described, cited, and organized by themes: food access, food and farm business, food chain labor, food movement.

Annotated Bibliography on Structural Racism in the US Food System

This annotated bibliography provides current research and outreach on structural racism in the U.S. food system for the food system practitioner, researcher, educator, and advocate.

Search for your topic in the literature of sociology and other disciplines interested in societal structures. 

Current social, political, artistic, and/or economic lives

In addition to searching in databases dedicated to your discipline, it is helpful to look in sociology, history, anthropology or ethnic studies collections. 

Ethnic Studies Research Guide

Maintained by the librarian for the College of Liberal Arts at Cal Poly, and introduces scholarly and primary resources, news archives, and video on the experience of various groups.  

Institutions and structures that offer redress to social, economic, and political inequality

Open internet searches can introduce you to relevant organizations and efforts. 

Make your open internet searches more effective by learning how Google search works, and referring to lists of Google search operators.

USDA Equity Commission

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is creating an Equity Commission to advise the Secretary of Agriculture and provide USDA with an analysis of how its programs, policies, systems, structures, and practices that contribute to barriers to inclusion or access, systemic discrimination, or exacerbate or perpetuate racial, economic, health and social disparities and recommendations for action. 

Diversity Rx

An alliance of organizations and individuals that produces educational opportunities, a national research agenda, and National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care to "improve the accessibility and quality of health care for minority, immigrant, and indigenous communities". 

Community efforts supporting food self-determination and connection to the food system
(illustrative examples Leyla is familiar with)

Returning to Our Roots — Kōkua Kalihi Valley
Hawai'i Farm to School Resource Hub
Farm to School – Hawai‘i Public Health Institute
MA‘O Organic farms 
Paepae o Heeia – Growing Seafood for our community one pōhaku at a time

Community-based research and compensation for traditional knowledge

Global lessons from South Africa’s rooibos compensation agreement. (2019). Nature (London), 575(7782), 258–258.

Issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in your disciplines

Search for concepts

To explore language and concepts related to DEI, you might review relevant glossaries:

Reviews that have a replicable search strategy are a good source of additional vocabulary

ex. Native American Youth and Culturally Sensitive Interventions: A Systematic Review 

A search for "culturally appropriate" surfaces the additional terms

  • culturally affirming/grounded/preferred/enhanced/sensitive
  • food sovereignty/self-determination

Examine their own personal beliefs, attitudes, and biases about historically marginalized people and cultures

The Food Science and Nutrition library research guide has pointers on searching the library catalog for FSN topics.

Example topics

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) stigma

Tackling MSG stigma: Ajinomoto investigates sodium reformulation abilities

The Campaign to Redefine ‘Chinese Restaurant Syndrome’ - The New York Times (

Weight bias among health care professionals

Lawrence, Blake J., et al. “Weight Bias Among Health Care Professionals: A Systematic Review and Meta‐analysis.” Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 2021,

Representation in research priorities

Hutchins, K.P., Borg, D.N., Bach, A.J.E. et al. Female (Under) Representation in Exercise Thermoregulation Research. Sports Med - Open 7, 43 (2021).