Securing Sufficient and Healthy Food

Subject FOOD90024 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 hours: 24 hours of lectures, 6 hours of workshops
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours including 30 hours contact time and 80 hours of directed study, assessment and reading.

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 Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Helen Suter



Subject Overview:

Food security is defined by the World Health Organization 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 in all global sectors with increased population, trade restrictions and the effects of pests and diseases on quality and yield. These factors are compounded by predicted reduced availability of resources such as energy (oil) and fertilizer (phosphorous), and climate challenges. The food that is produced must also be free from pathogens or secondary compounds that affect human or livestock health. This subject will explore the causes of food insecurity and mitigation strategies to secure food at the local and global levels by farmers (producers), politicians, scientists and non-government organizations alike, with a strong focus on the biological and applied production issues.

Topics will include:

  • Definitions and causes of food insecurity
  • Risks to food security from the environment and current production systems
  • Socio-political and cultural reasons behind food crises and lack of access to adequate food
  • Securing food locally through rescue and redistribution, and reduced food wastage
  • Health risks from food chain contamination
  • Major plant and animal-borne diseases that impact food security and their accurate diagnosis
  • Impacts of chemicals and genetic modifications on the food chain and the environment
  • Quarantine measures and impacts for securing food quality and quantity
  • Adapting food production systems in the face of risks from climate change
Learning Outcomes:

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:

  • A 2000 word essay on a topic chosen from a list of provided topics due in approximately Week 6 worth 30%
  • A 10-minute oral presentation and participation in a related mini-symposium due in approximately Week 10 worth 20%
  • A two-hour exam held at the end of semester worth 50%
Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:

Ingram, John, Ericksen, Polly and Liverman, Diana (Eds.) (2010) Food Security and Global Environmental Change. 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
  • A sense of intellectual curiosity
Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Agricultural Sciences
Graduate Certificate in Food Science
Graduate Diploma in Agricultural Sciences
Graduate Diploma in Food Science
Master of Agribusiness (Coursework)
Master of Agricultural Science
Master of Animal Science
Master of Food Science
Master of Food and Packaging Innovation
Postgraduate Diploma in Agricultural Science
Postgraduate Diploma in Food Science
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point (A) Master of Agricultural Sciences
200 Point Master of Agricultural Sciences
Environment and Public Health
Public Health
Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Regions
Tailored Specialisation
Tailored Specialisation

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