Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of Nutrition and Dietetics
OfferedNot offered in 2015
Coordinator(s)Dr Claire Palermo


This unit aims to explore the sustainability of the food supply and its impact on health. Students will learn about the components of the food supply system (from paddock to plate) and the factors, including economic, social, political and environmental that drive and influence the food system. Students will compare and contrast the agricultural, retail and consumption differences between an industrial and a local food system. Exposure to several programs and initiatives which aim to mitigate the environmental effects of food production and create a more sustainable food supply with support learning. The impact of environmental challenges, such as climate change, drought and salinity, and the impact of national policy decisions on the food system will be explored. Students will be exposed to the views of the food industry, economists and public health experts on food sustainability and explore their own food intake patterns and its impact on the environment.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Explain the Australian food system and critically evaluate the influences on this system.
  2. Compare and contrast social, economic and environmental differences between an industrial and local food system.
  3. Evaluate the impact of population and individual nutrition and health messages on the food supply.
  4. Describe the impact of food waste and discuss strategies to minimise food waste in food service and household settings.
  5. Evaluate the political, economic, health and environmental drivers impacting on the international food system.
  6. Explore opportunities for beneficial social, environmental and nutritional change to the Australian food supply.


Exam (Multiple choice and short answer) (2 hours) (30%)
Individual food eco-friendly food challenge (1,000 words) and resource (500 words) (30%)
Local food system audit (3,000 words) (40%)

Workload requirements

On-campus: 4 hours per week of interactive lectures and workshops + 8 hours self-directed learning and completion of assessment tasks.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study