Reference resources are a great place to begin your research. They can help you define terms as well as to find basic information about a topic, a chronicle of its history, theories, key people and sometimes a bibliography of additional sources.
There are many different types of reference sources, which include dictionaries, encyclopedias, thesauri, bibliographies, handbooks, style manuals to name a few.
Encyclopedia of Food and Culture
REF GT2850 .E53 2003 (Education and Engineering & Science libraries)
McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Food, Agriculture & Nutrition
REF TX349 .M2 (Stauffer Library)
Bibliographies like Oxford Bibliographies offer authoritative research guides helping you to narrow the vast number of citations to the best scholarship on a given topic.
For example, there is a separate guide on Sugar and bananas are mentioned in a number of guides, e,g. Latin American Studies, African Studies.