Food and Societies - 2017

To enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into a course from the provider. Read before you start

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: No
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP2 , SP4
  • Availability for 2018: SP2 , SP4
  • Assessment: Group Discussion Board Task - 400words equiv per student (10%) , Group Project - 4x infographics equiv 400words (40%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 1,131.00
HECS 1,131.00

In this subject you will develop an informed and critical understanding of the personal, social, cultural, environmental, economic and political factors influencing food, food use and food habits for individuals, communities and populations. Through readings and media, discussion and assignments, we will look at cuisines from other cultures and the effects of multiculturalism on Australian culinary culture. You will develop an understanding of how the role of food has changed from ancient times to present day, and be introduced to monitoring and surveillance data used to understand factors influencing patterns and trends in food consumption worldwide. You will also be introduced to food labelling and how food policy, food technologies, ecology and agriculture influence the food system. Your learning in this subject will be assessed through written works and a multimedia presentation.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Review and analyse the history and future of food, both from a worldwide and Australian perspective.
  2. Evaluate basic food consumption patterns in Australia against trends in other countries.
  3. Consolidate and synthesise the impact of how sociological factors, such as culture, religion, socio-economic status, media and marketing affect food choice in individuals, groups, communities and populations. 
  4. Critically analyse how changes to food habits and trends in food and diet affect food intake.
  5. Review and analyse the influences of food labelling regulations and food policy, food technology, ecology and agriculture on Australian and worldwide food systems.
  • Group Discussion Board Task — 400words equiv per student (10%)
  • Group Project — 4x infographics equiv 400words (40%)
  • Interview — Magazine style, 800 words (20%)
  • Presentation — 5min vid & 1200word assessment (30%)

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Note: Level 3 units normally assume a moderate level of prior knowledge in this area, eg from studying related Level 1 and 2 units or other relevant experience.

  • Other special requirement — If cross institutional, unit coordinator approval needed. View OUA info on La Trobe On Campus to Online or Pathway Programs for details.

In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into one of the following courses:

Please visit the course details page and read the Requirements tab for more information about eligibility.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Critical developments in the role of food in societies
2Influences on the Australian food supply system and how these may determine future food supplies
3Food monitoring and surveillance data; identification of patterns in food consumption over the past 50 years in Australia and other western countries
4Food restrictions and food related rituals associated with religious beliefs
5The influence of multiculturalism on cuisine in Australia
6Food security and what it means to be food insecure; subgroups within Australian who experience food insecurity
7Current trends in food and nutrition science, as well as food fads and controversies, and their impact on food selection
8Food and eating patterns in defined ethnic/population subgroups and changes with migration/immigration
9Key food and nutrition issues for disadvantaged groups and the impact on food choices
10Steps in responding to challenges in the food supply arising from war, famine and natural disasters
11Interpreting food labels
12Influence of policy on food availability
13Impact of food demand and production on the environment; priorities for a sustainable food supply; benefits of sustainable foods supply systems in

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Audio/Video conferencing
  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Embedded Multimedia
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Web links

Print based materials

  • Study Guide

Online materials

  • Audio/Video - Streaming
  • Online Assessment
  • Resources and Links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • Food and Nutrition: Food & Health Systems In Australia &

    By:Mark Wahlqvist (ed)

    ISBN: 9781741758979


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • A Sociology of Food and Nutrition 4ED

    By: John Germov & Lauren Williams

    ISBN: 9780190304676


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Food and Nutrition Throughout Life

    By:Croxford, Sharon

    ISBN: 9781743316757


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

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