I'm looking for a open-source list of common foodstuffs/meals that I can use to populate a database for some R&D. Ideally I'd just like a long list of food/meal names (as if you were browsing recipes in a nutritional/weight watching site).

Any ideas where I could get hold of something like that?

2 Answers 2


The 2002 UK food nutrition study (McCance & Widdowson's Composition of Foods) lists 3000+ food items along with dietary information. The link below provides this info in an Excel spreadsheet (which can be converted to CSV) at the bottom of the page.



Wikipedia has a category called https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Dishes_by_main_ingredient .

It is supposed to contain all dish articles.
Warning: It also contains "main articles", for instance in sub-category https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Fish_dishes there is main article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_(food) which can not really be considered as a particular dish. It is still foodstuff though.

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