The Food Policy Research Group staff coordinate three graduate subjects in the area of food politics and policy:

  • The Politics of Food
  • Nutrition Politics and Policy
  • Sustainable Food: Policy and Practice

This sub-program in food politics and policy is offered within Masters courses taught by the School of Agriculture and Food, but also within a range of Masters courses across the University, including the Masters of Environment; Public Health; International Relations; Development Studies, Public Policy and Management, Urban Planning, and Urban Horticulture.

FOOD90026: The Politics of Food

This subject examines the politics of the global food system, and will focus on the policies, structures, power relations and political debates surrounding the production, distribution and consumption of food. 

Topics include:

  • Food policy and governance at the global, national and local levels
  • Food security, food sovereignty and the Global Food Crisis
  • Global trading relations, free trade and fair trade
  • Environmental impacts and sustainable forms of food production and consumption
  • Animal production, factory farms and animal welfare
  • Supermarkets and alternative retailing and distribution networks
  • Agricultural paradigms and technologies: chemical-industrial agriculture, genetically modified foods, organic agriculture and agroecology
  • Corporate concentration within and across sectors of the food system
  • Competition for food and land: animal feed, biofuels and land-grabbing
  • Food processing, food marketing, dietary advice and health
  • Local and urban food production and planning
  • Alternative paradigms and networks of food production, distribution and consumption
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FOOD90027: Nutrition Politics and Policy

This subject critically examines the scientific, policy and political debates regarding the relationship between food, nutrition and health. 

Topics include:

  • The science and politics of formulating dietary guidelines, nutritional reductionism in nutrition research, and debates over definitions of healthy and unhealthy foods
  • Changing dietary patterns, the nutrition transition, food security, the “obesity epidemic”, and other health outcomes
  • The socio-economic, commercial and environmental influences on food choices and dietary patterns
  • The production, nutritional quality, marketing and consumption of highly processed foods and beverages
  • Food industry strategies for food reformulation, and the development and marketing of fortified and functional foods
  • Food labelling, and nutrient and health claims regulations
  • The use of nutritionally-enhanced crops and fortified micronutrient deficiencies
  • Dietary guidelines and choices to create ecologically sustainable food systems
  • Policy approaches to regulating food quality, food consumption, food marketing, and food industry practices.
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FOOD90033: Sustainable Food: Policy and Practice

This subject critically examines the policies, practices and challenges of creating more environmentally sustainable systems of food production, distribution and consumption. 

Topics include:

  • Sustainable food system policies and planning
  • Sustainable agricultural practices
  • Sustainable intensification: from high-tech innovations and efficiencies to low-input practices
  • Sustainable livestock production and consumption
  • Farm animal welfare regulations and labelling
  • Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture
  • The environmental impacts of food distribution, food miles, food manufacturing and convenience food production and packaging
  • Food waste across the supply chain: structural causes and remedies
  • Food standards, certification and labelling of sustainably and ethically sourced foods
  • Sustainable food consumption practices
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