Currently, there are 170 questions containing "food", but only 5 are tagged , suggesting that adding tags to more of those questions may simplify searching for related questions. The tags , , , and are also related.

Excerpts —

  • : Questions relating to government policies on farming and animal husbandry. (29 questions, 7 mention food)

  • : Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are organisms whose genetics have been directly altered by humans. The status and safety of GMOs is a politically controversial topic. (4 questions, 3 mention food)

  • : {None at the moment.} (7 questions, 3 mention food)

  • : Questions relating to government support that enables people to have a basic standard of living. Social Security programs would fall into this category. (55 questions, 5 mention food)

  • : {None at the moment.} (5 questions)

After removing the above tags from the search, 148 questions remain.

For this discussion, when is a question about the politics of food versus any of the other tags that may be used?

See also, Adding and editing tags.

  • TBH I've created that 'food' tag recently. The Q were all about near-starvation, but since one party to that conflict denies that the situation can be so described, I thought that creating and tagging with 'starvation' or 'famine' would be too controversial. OTOH 'food' seemed neutral enough. Yeah, there are probably older questions that could get that tag too. Commented Mar 14 at 16:21
  • 1
    Also, in hindsight, technically an even better tag might have been 'food security' en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_security But the average person might not know how it differs from 'food safety'. We had this kind of issue with some naval/maritime law tags. Commented Mar 14 at 16:35
  • @Dolphin613Motorboat Isn't the point of this question to discuss the usage of the tag and not to go about editing a bunch of questions to add the tag?
    – Joe W
    Commented Mar 14 at 16:43
  • @Dolphin613Motorboat - "food-security" may involve "social-welfare". Perhaps, the political use of food as a form of coercion, such as politics.stackexchange.com/q/14664/26455, which seems close to its current use.
    – Rick Smith
    Commented Mar 14 at 16:44
  • "food-security" may involve "social-welfare". No, not always. "Food security is the availability of food in a country." Says nothing about it being given for free and the like. For the same reason it's not synonymous with "humanitarian aid", although there's surely overlap sometimes. Humanitarian aid often includes food, but can also be other stuff, medicine, blankets etc. Commented Mar 14 at 16:44

2 Answers 2


TLDR version, I propose it be used for both food security & food safety topics, pertaining to political/government decisions/proposals on those, of course, domestic or international. There's not that many Q on 'food safety' alone AFAICT (aside from the 4 'gmo' questions), and there's the potential for confusion with two food tags that we've experienced on other topics.

If you want to know how it differs from the rest of the tags in the Q, read the rest of my answer.

I've created that 'food' tag recently. The Qs I immediately tagged were all about an alleged imminent famine, but since one party to that conflict denies that the situation can be so described, I thought that creating and tagging with or 'famine' or 'starvation' would be too controversial, whereas 'food' seemed neutral enough to avoid edit war[s] over tags. (I should say that it's not uncommon governments elsewhere to deny that such conditions exist, or to contest their extent. I've checked and then tagged a few older questions that were in the same ballpark.)

Also, in hindsight & technically, an even better tag might have been food security:

Food security is the availability of food in a country (or other geographic region) and the ability of individuals within that country (region) to access, afford, and source adequate foodstuff. [...]

Food security can be measured by calories to digest to intake per person per day, available on a household budget. In general, the objective of food security indicators and measurements is to capture some or all of the main components of food security in terms of food availability, accessibility, and utilization/adequacy. While availability (production and supply) and utilization/adequacy (nutritional status/ anthropometric measurement) are easier to estimate and therefore, more popular, accessibility (the ability to acquire a sufficient quantity and quality of food) remains largely elusive.

Likewise, on of the most common hunger/famine scales uses those (two) words in its full name: Integrated Food Security Phase Classification.

But the average person might not know how it differs from 'food safety', without reading some description. We had this kind of issue with some maritime law tags that ended up being massively misapplied. So is it worthwhile to have separate tags for 'food safety' vs 'food security'? IDK. (Most 'gmo' questions here are probably 'food safety' questions. On a quick search a found another Q about additives, that's a 'food safety' Q too. I'm turning up more of those though, so perhaps a separate 'food safety' tag isn't warranted for now.)

Is it the same as 'humanitarian-aid'? IMHO no. Humanitarian aid often includes food, but can also be other stuff, medicine, blankets etc. And it's typically a giveaway, whereas something like the Oil-for-Food Programme, while humanitarian in intent, wasn't exactly aid. It would also seem a bit unnatural to me to tag Q about the existence or lack thereof of famine in a region always with 'humanitarian aid'.

As for 'social welfare', it rather overlaps with 'humanitarian aid', but it's more typically used for internal rather than external programs, and often in the form of financial assistance. (Parachuting cash is seldom a substitute for parachuting food, if there's famine in a broader region. There is a Q already on why food banks even exist in a developed country, when cash assistance exists too.) And so, it's broader than food, covering shelter often enough. Anyhow, it seems too remote to me to tag questions about famine with this.

As for 'agriculture': that's essentially the production vs the consumption angle.


Building on another answer,

Perhaps, the excerpt could say —

Questions about policies specifically related to the availability and consumption of foods safe for humans. This tag may be used with the tags [social-welfare], [humanitarian-aid], etc. If the question is about more than food, prefer a more inclusive tag. If the question is about the production of food, use the [agriculture] tag.

The tag may be used as an adjunct to the other related tags.

The tag may then be used for a range of questions from policies of disrupting the delivery of food to a country, through providing food or assistance purchasing food to the population of a country, to policies discouraging over-consumption of foods, whether to combat obesity or to improve life expectancy through dietary recommendations. It would also cover the regulation of food safety.

  • "If the question is not specific to food, do not use this tag." Seems a bit unnecessarily pedantic. Commented Mar 15 at 19:50
  • @Dolphin613Motorboat - Perhaps, ".. about more than food ...". Consider a question about general welfare benefits that mentions food and shelter, both tags [food] and [housing] could be used, but [social-welfare] is sufficient because the Q is not specifically about those two.
    – Rick Smith
    Commented Mar 15 at 20:22

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