Unit description

Provides a sociological and ecological outlook of the food system in examining the how and why of what we eat. It reviews the relationship between food production and consumption through historical, sociocultural, economic, political, philosophical, technological and environmental perspectives. A range of issues related to the current food system, its potential to impact human health, and the future of food are explored.

Unit content

What's on the Menu

Topic 1:  What and why we eat:  Historical influences

Topic 2:  What and why we eat:  Sociological influences

Topic 3:  The food system:  Introduction and contemporary challenges

Topic 4:  The business of food:  From paddock to plate and beyond

Topic 5  The food system and its influence on consumption and human and environmental health

Topic 6:  The future of food:  Alternative solutions to contemporary mainstream practices

Topic 7:  How to conduct a literature search and be a critical reader

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • This texbook is also available online, but can only be read on screen, from: http://issuu.com/myriadeditions/docs/atlas_of_food2_08 : Millstone, E & Lang, T, 2008, The atlas of food, 2nd edn, Myriad Editions, UK. ISBN: 978-1-84407-499-0.
  • This textbook is also available online and can be downloaded from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737422319: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2012, Australia's food and nutrition 2012, Cat. No. PHE 163, AIHW, Canberra. ISBN: 978-1-74249-323-7.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Lecture on-site 2 hours (12)
Tutorial on-site 2 hours (12)
Exam: closed book35%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2014 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 2

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.