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There are several questions which are similar:

These two have been nominated for close as potential duplicates of List of common foodstuffs/meals?

Looking more closely, I'm not sure that List of common foodstuffs/meals? is the best of them. It has votes, and the top-voted answer has a substantive dataset, although it links to a site which is "archived," so it won't age as well as something that links to an actively maintained site.

Also, the data set from List of common foodstuffs/meals? is quite complicated -- which doesn't make it a bad answer, but it might not be the best thing to use for someone looking for an Open database of ingredient names?

Furthermore, the question about the US FDA is quite specific, which is good in general, but which may be a sign that not everything about ingredients should be merged.

I think that the two flagged for close may as well be closed. The other three are more complicated. The answer to Open database of ingredient names? overlaps with Does any US Government agency (like FDA) publish a list of approved food products and ingredients? but maybe the US specificity of the latter justifies keeping it alive?

Meanwhile, the questions for Does any US Government agency (like FDA) publish a list of approved food products and ingredients? and List of common foodstuffs/meals? are about the same, although right now they have different (complementary) answers. They could perhaps be merged.

Do we have any guidelines or best practices about this?

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Someone can ask a 'placeholder question' and then we can make a community wiki with all the links above, plus more as they are found.

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    Sure, or we could pick the current most successful one and add on to it. But there's another part of the question about the difference in intent (and thus in useful answers) between someone looking for a list of foods for a general purpose app vs someone who has a stake in a specific government's opinion about food/nutrition/etc. Maybe it's not that important of a distinction? – Joe Germuska Apr 8 '15 at 15:56
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    The answer could make the distinction. – philshem Apr 8 '15 at 18:07

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