VCE Food Studies

Examples of Student Activities

The Food Studies course allows for the exploration of food from a range of different fields and allows for individual pathways to health and wellbeing with a greater application of practical food skills.

Food is looked at from the past, present and future in relation to eating patterns, Australian and global foods as well as the role of food in society.   Practical work is core to this new course and it allows students to work on independent food interests as well as discovering new foods and their uses.

The Food Studies course:

  • broadens the scope of food education and the exploration of food
  • allows for many more transferable skills to industry and further training
  • allows for more contemporary focus on food that impacts on our lives
  • complements other VCE subjects such as HHD, Psychology and Chemistry

 Unit 1: Food Origins:

What will you discover?

This unit focuses on food from an historical and cultural perspective. It allows students to discover how food has evolved over time across all areas of the world.

 Area of Study 1: Food Around the World:

In this area of study students will explore the origins and cultural roles of food from early civilization through to today and beyond. Different cultures, cuisines and social influences will be explored, including production experiences to encapsulate the essence of where food has come from.

Examples of food themes covered in this area of study may include:

  • hunter-gather food system
  • patterns of global spread of food
  • growth of trade in food commodities such as grains, coffee, chocolate, spices and sugar
  • effects of industrialization

 Area of Study 2: Food In Australia:

In this area of study students will focus on the history and culture of food in Australia. Food productions will be drawn from exploring indigenous and non-indigenous foods as well as what foods Australian’s are consuming today. Migration and the development of a very strong food culture in Australia will also be a key focus point for both the theoretical as well as the practical components of the study.

Examples of food themes covered in this area of study may include:

  • food production and consumption among indigenous Australians prior to European settlement
  • patterns of migration and the influence of this on the taste and consumption of food
  • trends in food practices including emerging food movements and changing social behaviours relating to food
  • what is Australia’s own distinctive cuisine?

 Unit 2: Food Makers

What will you discover?

The focus of this unit is about having an understanding of our food system and how we use food in our home and as we gather with people to share a meal. This unit allows students to be creative in meal planning and creative in using a range of ingredients, tools and equipment to produce food with individual flair.

Area of Study 1: Food Industries.

The focus for this area of study is on commercial food production in Australia, encompassing primary production and food processing. There is an inquiry approach to this area of study that allows for students to investigate the characteristics of food and how they challenge current and future opportunities.

Examples of food themes covered in this area of study may include:

  • economic trends, issues and influences in Australian food industry
  • agricultural and horticultural industries and their influence on food production and exports markets
  • consumer demand on food supply and the role of media, activism and consumer rights organisations
  • governance and regulation in relation to maintaining and setting food standards

 Area of Study 2: Food in the Home.

In this area of study students will have the opportunity to explore food production focusing on domestic and small scale food production. Recipe adaptation and working on dietary requirements will form part of the production aspect of the study. Students will propose and test ideas applying food skills to entrepreneurial projects that potentially may move their products from domestic or small scale setting to a more commercial context.

Examples of food themes covered in this area of study may include:

  • sensory, physiological, economic and social considerations in the comparison of meals and dishes
  • consideration of resources for meal planning including budgeting, sustainability and equipment use
  • adaptation of recipes to suit individuals, households and other groups based on dietary needs, culture, medical issues, intolerances and allergies.

Unit 3: Food in Daily Life.

What will you discover?

Unit 3 takes students on a discovery of food science and food patterns to promote healthy eating. This unit gives students the opportunity to examine the concept of food, identifying the physiology of food appreciation as well as taking into account the Australian Dietary Guidelines and the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.

Area of Study 1: The Science of Food.

Students will investigate the physiology of eating and microbiology of digesting, and the absorption and utlilisation of macronutrients. Students will work with chemical changes that occur in food preparation and cooking and develop a range of nutritious meals and food items.

Examples of food themes covered in this area of study may include:

  • physiology and conditioning of appetite, satiety and the sensory appreciation of food
  • microbiology of the intestinal tract and the process of digestion
  • rationale and principles of the Australian Dietary Guidelines and the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating in the prevention of obesity and other lifestyle diseases
  • physiology of food allergies and intolerances
  • microorganisms that cause food poisoning
  • functional properties of protein, sugar, starch, fats and oils in food and the chemical changes that occur

Area of Study 2: Food choice, health and wellbeing

Australian food patterns and the influences on food we eat will be the key focus for this area of study. Students will look at the relationship between social factors and our access to food as well as the emotional roles food plays in shaping our food experiences. The role of media, technology and advertising will be investigated and the principles of encouraging healthy food patterns in particular with children will be studied.

Examples of food themes covered in this area of study may include:

  • patterns of eating in Australia, changing trends in food purchasing and food consumption
  • social and emotional roles of food in shaping and expressing individual identity
  • emotional and psychological responses to food and food marketing including body image, restrictive dieting and comfort eating
  • the role of media in shaping food information and food choices
  • role of modeling, exposure and repetition as key behavioural principles for the establishment of healthy diets and nutritious meal patterns

Unit 4. Food Issues, Challenges and Futures.

What will you discover?

In this unit students will debate about global and Australian food systems. The environment and ethics will be discussed in light of Australian and global food systems and climate change and biodiversity will be explored. Students will have the opportunity to look at information that is published about food and critique it based on the recommendations of the Australian Dietary Guidelines and the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.

 Area of Study 1. Environment and Ethics

In this area of study, students will address debates concerning Australian and global food systems relating to issues of the environment, ethics, technologies, food access, food safety and the use of agricultural resources. Food production will focus on using a range of equipment and techniques to develop healthy, creative meals.

Examples of food themes covered in this area of study may include:

  • key issues of the challenges of adequately feeding a rising world population including the impact of food insecurity
  • key ethical principles and questions of concern to Australian food consumers
  • environmental sustainability and the loss of biodiversity
  • methods of farming including genetic modifications and low-impact and organic farming.

Area of Study 2. Navigating food Information.

In this area, students will focus on food information and misinformation as well as the development of food knowledge, skills and habits. Food fads and diets will be carefully scrutinized and evidence-based recommendations will be used to show how to improve food selection. Food marketing and packaging will be investigated and students will develop their own food production repertoire by creating recipes that reflect the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

Examples of food themes covered in this area of study may include:

  • principles and research used in the development of the Australian Dietary Guidelines
  • interpreting and critiquing food fads and trends
  • assessing the validity of weight loss and nutrient supplement companies
  • understanding food labelling and the effect it has on consumers
  • practical ways to apply recommendations relating to food and health based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines and the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.

Unit 3 & 4 Assessment:

Unit 3 and Unit 4 School Assessed Coursework contributes 60% and the end of year examination will contribute 40% to the overall score.


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