Food Studies – Unit 1 – 4

The new VCE Units 1-4 Food Studies course has been released by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority and is due to be implemented  in Victorain schools at the beginning of the new school year in January 2017. The Food Studies Study Design can be downloaded here


This powerful, exciting and innovative course focuses on food from a diverse range of socio-cultural, historical and contemporary perspectives and is designed to appeal to an equally diverse range of students who are keen to explore food and extend their knowledge and practical food skills.  A strong emphasis on practical food skills is underpinned by theoretical understandings of how food is situated in domestic, agricultural and commercial settings within Australia and globally.


Students are set to explore current issues such as environmental sustainability and ethical and moral decisions shaping our local, national and global food supply – the very issues that are the very core of a functioning, peaceful, productive and equitable 21st Century world.  Such questions are posed as ‘How do you feed a hungry planet of a projected 9 Billion people?’ Students are guided through the evidence-based data to pose questions and make viable prognoses and propose solutions of their own.

Who should take the course?

Food security is at the heart of this new course and this topic is sure to appeal to this generation of Food students who care about the planet and have question marks about the same moral, social and economic decisions that face our politicians, non-government organisations, food growers , manufacturers,  policymakers and consumers.  In short, this powerful Food Studies course with its emphasis on inquiry, decision-making and problem-solving will provide senior students with personal and vocational opportunities to make confident food decisions as consumers and acquire valuable skills and knowledge linked to food- and nutrition-related professions.

Tertiary course

First  of its kind, the new Bachelor of Food Studies offered at William Angliss will be sure to appeal to those students desiring to extend their interest  and make their career progression in the food studies area. Read more

Acknowledgements for additional resources and input

Ms Catherine Freney, colleague and home economics teacher

Ms Lea Compton, VCAA Technologies Key Learning Manager

Over the next few months I will be adding resources including learning activities, assessment ideas and links to support materials to support your teaching of this new and exciting course.


Suggested Activities


UNIT 3 AOS 1 Science of Food
Learning Ideas, lessons and timeline Practical Activities Resources
DP1 What is appetite? What is hunger? Why do we eat? Brainstorm: Physiological (hunger), Socio-cultural, Psychological (appetite)

Sensory Properties of food- six tastes

1.       Continuum scale (hungry,peckish, satisfied, full, over-full)

2.       Debate– ‘obesogenic environment means never having to say you’re hungry’. Read the journal article and identify the correlation between income, food availability and increased prevalence of ‘globesity’

3.       Blind taste test – pp. 4-5 Total Food

4.       Sensory properties of food including a food presentation activity –garnishing and plating

1.       Rick Kausman If not dieting then what? Awareness of feeling hungry

2.       Swinburn: Obesogenic Environment

3.       Blind taste test pp. 4-5 Total Food

4.       Keast – the sixth taste ‘fat’ Media review

Heath et al pp. 2-3

Umami – the fifth flavour

DP2 Digestion, utilisation of macro-nutrients

1.       What is digestion and metabolism?

2.       Processes of macro-nutrients

1.       Mini research activity: Investigate a macro-nutrient (CHO, Protein or fat) and design a 3D poster to help explain the process of digestion (mechanical and chemical), absorption and utilisation 2.       Cameron pp.8-9

3.       Cameron pp.14-22

DP3 Rationale of ADG and AGTHE

1.       Overview of the eatwell plate and how the Dietary Guidelines align

2.       Victorian Food Charter


1.       Orientation around site including : evaluate this activity as a ‘get to know healthy foods’ for children 4-13: user friendly, likelihood of transfer of knowledge to healthy eating behaviour? 1.       Eatwell

2.       Healthy Food Charter pp. 136-7 Total Food Book 2 (Compton and Warren)


DP4Lifespan and lifestyle considerations for nutritional requirements

Introduction to nutrition – overview

1.       Outcome 1 (includes DPs 1-4) – Choose from the following real-life Case Study Analysis (pregnant/lactating woman, elder, adolescent, sportsperson, elder sportsperson, hospitalised patient) Design, plan, produce and evaluate a meal that meets their dietary requirements (Key skills 1, 3 and 4)

Criteria include sensory and chemical properties using a dietary software program, taste test evaluation by an individual fitting the scenario

1.       Food Choices

2.       Cameron pp. 28-36

3.       Compton and Warren Book 1 pp. 28-29

4.       Guest speaker – midwife (Cath’s contact)

DP5 Food allergies and intolerances – coeliac, lactose, eggs



See Below 1.       Cameron pp. 40



DP6 Micro-organisms that cause food poisoning 1.       Test – micro-organisms and food test

2.       Outcome  2 (includes DPs 5 and 6) – Research a food allergy or intolerance and design, plan, produce and evaluate a meal that meets your selected individual’s dietary and sensory requirements. In the criteria, students need to explain and justify the substitution of ingredients in the management of their selected dietary condition (Key skill 5) and demonstrate how they will manage food safely to protect against food poisoning


2.       Guest speaker – Local Environmental health officer

3.       Food safety –

DP7 Principles of heat transfer

Need more info here

  1.       Compton and Warren Book 2
DP8 Functional Properties of food 1.       Production: Lemon Meringue Pie (covers the following functional properties: dextrinization (blind bake), gelatinisation (addition of cornflour as a thickening agent), emulsification (egg yolk and butter), aeration (egg white foam) 2.       Cameron p. 523

3.       Compton et al p. 338

4.       Maillard Reaction

5.       Can we find an evidence-based alternative to this source?


UNIT 3 AOS 2 Food Choice, health and wellbeing
DP1 Patterns of eating in Australia

Changes and trends in food purchasing and consumption

1.       Analysis of ABS-Australian Health Survey – Food consumption patterns

2.       Review new resources for food purchasing- online services, buying ready-made meals and evaluate nutrition/cost/benefit

3.       Practical activity: design, produce and package a ready-made meal suitable for a ‘typical’ Australian family of four people. Conduct a sensory and dietary analysis of the meal.

1.       Food consumption_ABS
DP2 Social factors and demographics as influencers on food accessibility, choice and healthy eating

This outcome will be assessed through a student investigation

1.       Identify a range of relevant social and demographic factors and explain how they might inform an investigation and solution to the hypothetical case studies

·       An independent first-year university student living in a studio apartment with no kitchen

·       An unemployed, newly separated father with 3 children under 10 years of age

·       Newly settled family from sub-Saharan Africa living in a regional city of Victoria

·       An elderly disabled woman living in a shared household with occasional access to Council assistance


1.       Compton and Warren Book 1 pp. 4-8
DP3 Social roles of food and how it is shared and celebrated amongst individuals and communities 1.       Student Reflection: how is food celebrated and shared in their families? A week in the life of….

Create a blog or wiki that allows students to post meaningful views of how food is shared and celebrated in the family. Identify the social and emotional influences on the particular foods and meals.

Discuss comparisons (how are the foods shared similar or different?) between students.

2.       Optional activity: provide an opportunity to select their favourite dish- recreate the dish in class and share with food colleagues. Record the experience as a Blog, including images and movie clips or as a mini podcast.


Masterchef, MKR
DP4 Emotional and psychological responses to food and food marketing, including behaviours and consequences 1.       Egs of food packaging and how they influence the consumer in purchasing the product- look at emotive effects of colour, nutritional messages, labelling, callouts, promotional aspects, pricing and shelf positioning.

2.       Psychological responses to food: tests using food anomalies – green bread, blue biscuits

3.       Photos of particular foods selected to elicit a pleasant or unpleasant reaction – why are foods rejected or accepted by particular cultures.

DP5 The role of the media in shaping food information and food choice, including marketing and advertising 1.       Television food advertisements – students to keep a log over one week and identify and describe how the marketing influences consumer purchasing. What strategies are used to shape peoples motivation to purchase a particular food?

2.       Responses to food trends – popularising foods eg macarons, cup cakes, pulled meats.

3.       Outcome 2 Imagine you are a food marketer/designer and your role is devise a new food- how would you market and promote your food as the next mega-trend? Show evidence that you have included the following criteria

–          Accounted for, and embedded social, emotional and psychological influences that target a particular targeted group (kids, hip adults, over 60s)

–          Prepare and test your food product.

–          Performed and evaluated a focus group to test out your product.

1.       Heath et al pp.193-194

(Junk food advertising in children’s sport – media analysis)

2.       Food Choices – learning activities

DP6 Relationships btn current food systems and personal and social behaviours with a focus on overconsumption of food and sedentary behaviour. 1.       Change in meal patterns including trends such as ‘all you can eat’ moving towards ‘tapas’ (quantity versus quality), food trucks – encourages ‘grazing’ rather than 3 set regular meals.

Portable foods – accessible and available – relate to obesogenic environment discussed earlier.

2.       Market Review – students to visit local shops and create a food market analysis in the  City of (name of city council) – plot the shops and the type of food and food services provided (cafes, snack bars including food juices, yoghurt and ice-cream bars, coffee shops) and the demographic targeted (eg young people in local  school area  and the type of food served)

DP7 Role of modelling, exposure and repetition for the establishment of healthy diets. 1.       The importance of allowing children to be involved in home food preparation





UNIT 4 AOS 1 Environment and ethics
Learning Ideas, lessons and timeline Practical Activities Resources
DP1 Key issues of feeding a rising world population including solutions to food security and equitable food distribution

-demands for animal protein as developing countries become more prosperous

-complementary protein sources (beans+corn, rice and grains)

1. Debate the following topic; “as people in transitioning to development countries (such as China) increase in prosperity and demands for animal protein increases, people in existing developed countries move towards vegetables, legumes and insects as alternative protein sources”

This practical activity requires students to research ethical, moral and environmental concerns held by people in prosperous countries and their move towards eating more vegetable and alternative protein sources (insects?. The debate planning requires students to imagine and prognose outcomes of feeding a hungry world.

Proposed hypothetically, students can research “As people in the developing world become more prosperous their demand for animal protein increases simultaneous to people in the developed world eating more vegetable and novel sources (such as insects)”

1.       Practical activity: students explore complementary protein sources (rice and grains, beans and corn) and plan, produce, present and evaluate a meal and its chemical and sensory properties.

1.       Food and Agricultural Organisation


Meatless Monday movement






2.Vegetarian Society Site visited: 07 April 2016

FAO- This article comprehensively describes the role of individual essential nutrients including the role of mixed protein diets in various population groups

Information about complementary protein combination and associated recipes can be found in Stanton, R. Healthy Cooking Murdoch Books, Sydney NSW 1993 pp.182-3


Edible cutlery

DP2 Ethical principles and qns of concern to Australian consumers- ethical concerns affecting food choices and range of foods available

-Free Range eggs

1. Consumer information analysis– how well do you know your eggs?

Perform a dollar cost comparison between the various eggs available: organic, free range, barn laid and caged eggs.

Conduct a focus group amongst your peers to determine their understanding of the different classifications.

Describe the egg classifications and create an infographic that helps consumers make their egg purchasing decisions (refer to )


Outcome 1: a written report that includes a selected food-related topic, explanation of concerns related to the environment, ethics and/or equity, analysis of work being done to solve problems and support solutions, and a conclusion outlining major findings and suggested set of practical guidelines for consumers.

Locate an article, media report on one of the following issues (or one of your own)

-sustainable fishing

– food miles (local food)

– community gardens

– farmers markets

-GM Foods

– permaculture

-organic, biodynamic…what is the sameness?

Conduct a SWOT analysis to determine the viability and suitability of your issue for the individual, family, community, nationally and globally.

Use a decision-making process tool to help you justify or/and defend your position.


1.       Compton, L. and Warren 2015 Total Food OUP Sydney, Australia pp. 114 (Sustainability), pp.134-135 (basic information)

Egg classifications

Are all eggs the same? Media analysis-




2.       Sustainable Seafood guide “The fish we choose today affects the oceans of tomorrow’ accessed April7, 2016

Sourcing local food ‘finding good food close to you” accessed April 7, 2016

National Geographic: Feeding the planet accessed April 7, 2016

DP3 Key perspectives on –

-Environmental sustainability of primary food production

-environmental effects of food processing and manufacturing, retailing and consumption in Aust including food packaging, transportation and wastage


DP4 the characteristics, challenges and advantages of different approaches and methods in farming and primary food production, including GM food production and low-impact and organic farming. See above – this dot point can be incorporated in the Outcome above  
UNIT 4 AOS2 Navigating food information
Learning Ideas, lessons and timeline Practical Activities Resources
DP1 Contemporary contexts in which food knowledge and skills develop and factors that influence individual, family and community responses to food information


How marketing can be used to inform/misinform or confuse consumers.

What are current food fads, diets and trends?

Outcome 2- Explain a variety of food information contexts, analyse the formation of food beliefs, evaluate a selected food trend, fad or diet and create food products that meet the dietary guidelines

Research Evaluation (incorporates DPs 1-6)

Investigate and describe a current diet or trend  such as -the Paleo diet, Whey Protein Powders for muscle-building, low-carb diet

How and to whom is the diet or trend marketed towards?

Evaluate the diet or trend based on the evidence-base of the Australian Dietary Guidelines and/or the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating

Create a modification to the diet or trend to align with the recommended guidelines.

Promote how the modification could be advertised to the targeted consumer (for example, create a television advertisement that promotes the modification or defends against the diet or trend)


Use a dietary analysis software program such as Food Choices to analyse foods to support analyses.

Use reliable and evidence-based sources of information to support the research evaluation. For example, Australian Dietitians Association and the Paleo Diet

DP2 Principles of research used in the development of ADG, and how these principles can be applied to contemporary food fads, trends and diets    
DP3 Criteria used when assessing the validity of

-food information

-claims made by weight-loss and nutrient supplement companies

DP4 Categories of compulsory and optional information contained on food labels, the purpose behind them and the advantage of accurate label information for consumers


  Food Standards Code: FSANZ
DP5 elements of regulatory food standards relating to nutrition content claims and health claims on food labels and in advertisements    
DP6 practical ways to apply evidenced-based recommendation relating to food and health, including the ADGs and AGTHE, to everyday food behaviours and habits, with particular attention to maintaining a healthy weight.