Food Literacy Model
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Description of the Food Literacy Model
The Model consists of three levels comprising Basic, Intermediate and Advanced food literacy skills.
Each level is matched with Bronfenbrenner’s (Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Paquette D and Ryan J, 2001) theory of ecological systems viz:-
Basic level – described as the operational dimension (Renwick K, 2013), the tasks performed at this level focus on the individual and their interactions with food. The operational dimension aligns with the Functional food literacy and the Interactive food literacy described by Slater (Slater J, 2013).
Examples include: an individual’s food likes and dislikes, access to different varieties (fresh and processed) and amount of food, basic knowledge of the origins of food (‘Paddock to Plate’), the chemical (nutritional) and sensory (aesthetic) properties of food in relation to their health.
Intermediate level – described as the cultural dimension (Renwick K, 2013), the food tasks performed at this level involve the individual interacting with people (family, teachers, students and local shopping vendors) in their near environment (Micro-Meso system). The cultural dimension aligns with Critical food literacy described by Slater (Slater J, 2013).
Examples include: family food likes and dislikes, food decisions (“gate-keeping” of food – who and what influences the food planned, purchased, stored, prepared and consumed in the home and school), availability of, and access to food in the home (farmyard, backyard and balcony gardens and domestic food production of eggs and preservation of home-grown fruits, nuts and vegetables) and community (supermarkets, strip shopping fresh food vendors such as butchers, greengrocers, bakeries, roadside stalls and farmers’ markets)
Advanced level – described as the critical dimension (Renwick K, 2013), the food tasks performed at this level involve the individual interacting with the social environment (media, culture, society, technology) and making ethical decisions about food (Exo-Macro system). This concept of a food literate individual operating as a citizen able to make ethical and responsible food decisions is described by Schnögl et al (Schnogl S et al., 2006) and includes Critical food literacy described by Slater (Slater J, 2013).
Examples include: social (including television, digital and print media, marketing activities and technology), ethical, sustainability considerations and cultural factors influencing and modifying individual and family food decisions and choices.
Each level operates independently or interrelates as indicated by the two-way directional arrows. An individual can access and return to any level without the need to progress from the basic through to the intermediate and advanced levels of food literacy skills.
Bronfenbrenner U. (1979) The Ecology of Human Development:Experiments by Nature and Design, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Green B. (1999) The New Literacy challenge? Literacy Learning: Secondary Thoughts 7: 36-46.
Paquette D and Ryan J. (2001) Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory, http://pt3.nl.edu/paquetteryanwebquest.pdf. (accessed January 3, 2008).
Renwick K. (2013) Food literacy as a form of critical pedagogy: Implications for curriculum development and pedagogical engagement for Australia’s diverse student population. Victorian Journal of Home Economics 52: 6-17.
Schnogl S, Zehetgruber R, Danninger S, et al. (2006) Savoury dishes for adult education and counselling.
Slater J. (2013) Is cooking dead? The state of Home Economics Food and Nutrition education in a Canadian province. International Journal of Consumer Studies 37: 617-624.