Securing Sufficient and Healthy Food

Subject FOOD90024 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Twenty-four hours of lectures, six hours of practicals(total 30 hours)
Total Time Commitment:

Thirty hours contact time: eighty hours of directed study, assessment and reading (total 110 hours).

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Melbourne School of Land & Environment Student Centre
Ground Floor, Melbourne School of Land & Environment (building 142)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

Food security is defined by WHO as “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life”. This is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain with increased populations, trade restrictions and war compounded with predicted reducing availability of energy (oil), fertilizer (phosphorous) and climate challenges. This subject will explore the causes of food insecurity and the mitigations to secure food at the local and global levels by farmers (producers), politicians, scientists and non-government organizations alike. Topics will include:
• Definitions and causes of food insecurity
• Impacts of populations and cultural practices on food availability
• Risks to food security from the environment and current energy reserves
• Societal aspects aiding and preventing food security
• Roots of food insecurity: Food production verses food distribution
• Securing food locally through rescue and redistribution, and reduced waste
• Defining nutritious food and health risks from contamination
• Major plant and animal-borne diseases that impact food security
• Impacts of chemical control on the food chain and environment
• Quarantine measures and impacts within the food trade
• Transforming food production systems in the face of climate challenges


On completion of this subject, students will be knowledgeable in:
• Causes of food insecurity (political, cultural, economic and biological)
• Vulnerability and resilience of food systems
• Current national and international focus on food policy
• Securing food in a changing world
• Practical grass roots approaches to reducing food waste
• Impacts of pests and diseases on food security
• Pre and post farm-gate methods for food protection and human health protection
• Transformational changes occurring in food production systems aimed to increase yields under current and predicted climatic risks


Assessment in this subject will include:

• One 3,000 word essay on a topic chosen from a list of provided topics (worth 30%) due in Week 6;

• A report on a laboratory practical of 2,000 words maximum (worth 20%) due in Week 10; and

• A two hour exam (worth 50%).

Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:

”Food Security and Global Environmental Change”. Edited by John Ingram, Polly Ericksen and Diana Liverman. Earthscan, UK. ISBN 978-1-84971-127-2

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, students should have developed:

  • An ability to critically review scientific literature;
  • Communication skills, through written and oral presentations; and
  • A sense of intellectual curiosity
Related Course(s): Master of Agribusiness (Coursework)
Master of Agricultural Science
Master of Animal Science
Master of Food Science
Postgraduate Certificate in Food Science
Postgraduate Diploma in Agricultural Science
Postgraduate Diploma in Animal Science and Management
Postgraduate Diploma in Food Science
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Honours Program - Food Science

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