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Technology: VCE Food Studies

Task Booklet and Advice

 

This task demands ...

Intellectual Curiosity!

All food issues have parts that are complex - a better response finds the complexity in the issues and presents the different sides of the issue fairly, and finally makes an informed decision as to what path should be followed.  

Key Terms

Food System

A term that includes many activities involving the production, processing, transport and consumption of food, all of which can affect food accessibility in different ways with subsequent impact on health.

A food system analyses how, from farm to consumer, raw commodities get value added to them and includes supply of agricultural inputs, primary food production, processing and manufacturing sectors, food distribution, food retailing, food catering and domestic food. The way consumers prepare and consume food is also part of the food system.

VCAA Glossary

Food For Thought

"Australia is the third fastest growing vegan market in the world, after the United Arab Emirates and China, according to Euromonitor International."


"The first commercially grown genetically engineered food to be granted a licence for human consumption was a tomato. Developed in California, it was first sold in 1994."


"In 2013, a US slaughterhouse recalled four thousand tonnes of contaminated beef products - everything is processed in that year. The USDA called the products "unwholesome or otherwise unfit for human consumption."


"Current poverty rates in Venezuela are so high that a recent study by the Universidad Catolica Andres Bello found that approximately three hundred thousand Venezuelans are eating from the garbage.


"It is estimated that there are 900 million malnourished people in the world and 1.5 billion are considered obese."

More than 800 million people go to bed each night hungry. 

Places to browse for a topic ...

LOCAL:


 
Articles of Food Sustainability


Articles of Sustainable Food 


General Google Search Terms

“Food ethics” 

Food sustainability

Food justice (here)

Food issues OR problems OR concerns

Food politics

"Slow Food"

Food security

Food sovereignty (here)

Add a location: Australia OR Victoria

You should try at least 5 different Google searches. 

Start broad: e.g. "Food ethics"

... and become more focusedfood "animal ethics" transport Indonesia 

Other Places

Google Search Tips

  • Adding OR between terms = Increases your number of results (because the pages only need to contain one of the terms not both) 
  • Use "   " to group terms or phrases together to get more accurate results in Google. E.g. "Apple tree" and you won't get iPhone products

INTERNATIONAL:

Food Justice Movement Blogs: (Note: Blogs are usually opinion pieces)

 



Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (Videos)

More Specific Searching: Key Places To Look For Information

Our School Databases

Background Facts: Encyclopedia Britannica "food issues"

Background Facts AND For and Against Arguments: Australia / New Zealand Points of View Reference Centre.

News articles and Opinion Pieces: Australia / New Zealand Reference Centre. 

All types of Information: Global Issues In Context 


Government Websites


Other Organisations 

Many issues and topics have either Associations (general or specific) or Non-government, Not-For-Profit Organisations trying to tackle them. 

ASSOCIATIONS

The purpose of Associations is to support their members (in this case farmers) through information and united action. 

Examples: Victorian Farmers Federation; Victorian No-Till Farming AssociationDifferent food types have their own associations too.

Associations usually come in two levels - National and State. Sometimes there are more than one and it can get difficult determining the differences. Please ask us if you would like assistance. 

 

NON-GOVERNMENT, NOT-FOR-PROFT ORGANISATIONS

The purpose of Non-government, Not-For-Profit Organisations is to raise awareness of their concern and bring about change. 

Examples: Food Bank VictoriaFoodWiseAnimals AustraliaEnvironment Victoria: Eating the Planet; etc.

An important NGO is CHOICE: An Australian not for profit consumer organisation, previously known as the Australasian Consumers' Association. It is an independent organisation that was founded in 1959 which researches and campaigns on behalf of Australian consumers. CHOICE Food section

Leunig

Issues in Society

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Australian statistics and data on current topicsIssues in Society  - available in PRINT and ONLINE in the Library Catalogue as eBooks - Log into the Library catalogue using your student no. and Library password,  search series 'Issues in society' > click the URL and type in your laptop user name and password. Please see a member of the Library staff if you have issues accessing an ebook

 

 

Topics: Environmental Sustainability + Food

Environmental sustainability refers to the aim to preserve the world's natural resources for future generations.

Examples:

  • Food miles means the distance that food travels from where it is grown to where it is bought. This is an environmental concern because of the CO2 emissions from transport.
  • Genetically modified food is grown with genetic manipulation technology. Some people consider this a risk to the environment and choose GM-free products.
  • Organic foods have been grown without the use of chemical fertilisers or pesticides.
  • Food packaging
  • Food waste
  • Use of water in some food production
  • Low impact farming
  • Organic farming
  • Use of pesticidesantibioticsfertilisers and other chemicals.
  • Soil degradation and other environmental damage to the land.
  • The sale of imported agricultural products that involves high transport costs and therefore unnecessary carbon emissions.
  • Seafood sustainability
  • Different farming practices 
  • Biosecurity the management of pests and diseases, in Victoria and Western Australia.
  • Climate Change

Why sustainable food matters (National Geographic Video - 53 mins)

Topics: Ethics + Food

Ethics is a very broad topic, as you know, and covers many different aspects but basically involves looking at human behaviour in the production, distribution, preparation and consumption of food. Over the past century, the production, distribution, preparation, and consumption of food have dramatically altered.

Remember - All ethical issues have three parts: 

1) A topic that is debated / contested / controversial

2) Ideas of Right and Wrong

3) Different paths of action that lead to different outcomes

Examples:

  • Seasonal foods means purchasing only foods that are in season. Choosing these reduces food miles. E.g. Purchasing a tomato in winter.
  • The suffering of animals reared for human consumption
    • Pain in fish
    • Free range (a method of farming where animals are allowed to roam freely.)
    • Bobby calves
    • Live trade and live export (Shipping live animals overseas)
    • Ethical Meat (Videos)
  • Food labeling - Should GMO foods be labeled?
  • Sugar tax- Should foods high in sugar be taxed more highly than other foods?
  • Use of child or bonded labour, or employment of illegal immigrants.
  • Marketing campaigns that could encourage obesity.
  • Packaging that leads to excess purchases with implications for obesity.
  • Agressive marketing campaigns aimed at the vulnerable (e.g. promoting chocolate and other confectionery products to children).
  • Inappropriate marketing campaigns (e.g. sports equipment for schools that require the purchase of a large number of confectionery or snack products).
  • Sponsorship that seems aimed at promoting ethically inappropriate food products.

TIP: Ethics usually involves competing values:

  • The value of food. Food is essential for the survival of human beings; hunger results from neglect of the universal right to food.
  • The value of enhanced well-being. Today, nearly every nation state recognizes the need to enhance the well-being of its citizens. Such improvements in well-being also advance human dignity and self-respect.
  • The value of human health. Human health is improved by the elimination of hunger and malnutrition. Healthy people are more able to participate in human affairs and more able to live productive and meaningful lives.
  • The value of natural resources. All human societies recognize the importance of natural world that are used to produce food and other valued goods and which are necessary for our survival and prosperity.
  • The value of nature. Finally, there is growing agreement that nature itself must be valued. As our power to modify nature grows, there is also an increasing recognition of the beauty, complexity and integrity of nature, and of the limits to humans' restructuring of the natural world. (Information modified from here.)

Topics: Social Equity + Food

Environmental sustainability refers to the aim to preserve the world's natural resources for future generations.

Examples:

  • Food miles means the distance that food travels from where it is grown to where it is bought. This is an environmental concern because of the CO2 emissions from transport.
  • Genetically modified food is grown with genetic manipulation technology. Some people consider this a risk to the environment and choose GM-free products.
  • Organic foods have been grown without the use of chemical fertilisers or pesticides.
  • Food packaging
  • Food waste
  • Use of water in some food production
  • Low impact farming
  • Organic farming
  • Use of pesticidesantibioticsfertilisers and other chemicals.
  • Soil degradation and other environmental damage to the land.
  • The sale of imported agricultural products that involves high transport costs and therefore unnecessary carbon emissions.
  • Seafood sustainability - Bycatch Purse-seine nets, longline fishing, bottom trawling, etc.), aquaculture,  
  • Different farming practices 
  • Biosecurity the management of pests and diseases, in Victoria and Western Australia.
  • Climate Change

Why sustainable food matters (National Geographic Video - 53 mins)

Ask for Advice!

Make sure you ask us for advice! 

We can point you in the right direction and even suggestion key people involved in your topic. 


Interesting Things We Found Along the Way!

A Explainer on Food Blogs

A quote from Seneca the Younger: "A hungry people listens not to reason, nor cares for justice, nor is bent by any prayers."

General Food Links

From Spinney Press WebLinks

Organic and genetically modified food

Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia www.abca.com.au
Australian Certified Organic http://aco.net.au
CSIRO www.csiro.au
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources www.agriculture.gov.au
Eco Voice www.ecovoice.com.au
Food Magazine www.foodmag.com.au
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) www.foodstandards.gov.au
Greenpeace Australia Pacific www.greenpeace.org.au
IFOAM Organics International www.ifoam.bio
Madge Australia Inc. www.madge.org.au
Monsanto www.monsanto.com.au
National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia (NASAA) www.nasaa.com.au
Office of the Gene Technology Regulator www.ogtr.gov.au
Organic Federation of Australia www.ofa.org.au
Seeds of Deception www.seedsofdeception.com
Truefood Network www.truefood.org.au

Land management

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) www.agriculture.gov.au/abares
Australian Bureau of Statistics www.abs.gov.au
Caring for our Country www.nrm.gov.au
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) www.csiro.au
CSIRO Land and Water www.clw.csiro.au
Department of Agriculture www.agriculture.gov.au
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities www.environment.gov.au
 

Ethical consumption and fair trade

Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network Ltd http://aftinet.org.au
Buy Nothing New Month www.buynothingnew.com.au
CHOICE www.choice.com.au
Clean Clothes Campaign http://cleanclothes.org
Consumers Federation of Australia http://consumersfederation.org.au
Consumers International www.consumersinternational.org
Edmund Rice Centre www.erc.org.au
Ethical Consumer Group www.ethical.org.au
Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand www.fairtrade.com.au
Fairtrade Association of Australia and New Zealand www.fta.org.au
Fairtrade International www.fairtrade.net
Global Compact Network Australia www.unglobalcompact.org.au
OXFAM Australia www.oxfam.org.au

Food safety

ACT Health - Food Business Regulation www.health.act.gov.au
Department of Health www.health.gov.au
Department of Health and Human Services, Tasmania - food safety www.dhhs.tas.gov.au
Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria - food safety www.health.vic.gov.au
Food Safety Centre www.foodsafetycentre.com.au
Food Safety Information Council www.foodsafety.asn.au
Food Standards Australia New Zealand www.foodstandards.gov.au
NSW Food Authority www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au
Queensland Health - food safety www.health.qld.gov.au/foodsafety
Safe Food Queensland www.safefood.qld.gov.au

Food security and hunger

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARE) www.agriculture.gov.au/abares
Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research http://aciar.gov.au
Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization (CSIRO) www.csiro.au
Department of Agriculture www.agriculture.gov.au
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Aid http://dfat.gov.au/aid/Pages/australias-aid-program.aspx
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) www.fao.org
Foodwise http://foodwise.com.au
Friends of the Earth www.foe.org
Science Alert www.sciencealert.com.au
World Vision Australia www.worldvision.com.au

Fast food

Advertising Standards Bureau www.adstandards.com.au
Australian Communications and Media Authority www.acma.gov.au
Australian Food and Grocery Council www.afgc.org.au
Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (Department of Health) www.health.gov.au
Australian Medical Association www.ama.com.au
CHOICE www.choice.com.au
Dietitians Association of Australia www.daa.asn.au
Fast Choices www.fastchoices.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au
Fat Free TV http://junkbusters.com.au/fatfreetv/
Foodwatch www.foodwatch.com.au
Food Standards Australia and New Zealand www.foodstandards.gov.au
Healthy Weight Week Australia www.healthyweightweek.com.au
National Health and Medical Research Council www.eatforhealth.gov.au
Nutrition Australia www.nutritionaustralia.org
Obesity Policy Coalition www.opc.org.au