The level of food self-sufficiency is a relevant aspect of food security. The paper studies food self-sufficiency in the context of economic and physical availability of food. It develops an approach to assessing the level of food self-sufficiency which includes a number of indicators, such as international trade, food consumption standards and diversification of food imports. Empirical testing of the approach is performed within the agricultural sector of Russia for 2012–2018, where import substitution policy is being actively implemented. The research results demonstrate that in Russia only three food groups are self-sufficient, whereas all other categories are characterized by extremely low self-sufficiency levels. Having compared the self-sufficiency levels, the authors discover a discrepancy between the assessment method applied by the Russian Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) and that proposed in the paper; the difference between the two methods can reach up to 40%. The study indicates that there is a decrease in diversification of imports, which poses the risk of undersupply of foodstuffs. The research finds that the domestic production of grains exceeds the rational consumption norms, which results in the excessive consumption of this type of food, if compared to the recommended standards. At the same time, self-sufficiency in dairy products and vegetables is low and self-sufficiency in fruits is extremely low. The article concludes that Russia’s Food Security Doctrine is focused on production, but not consumer, which necessitates its assessment indicators to be revised. © 2020 by author(s) and VsI Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Center.