1st Edition

Food Literacy Key concepts for health and education

Edited By Helen Vidgen Copyright 2016
    262 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    262 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Globally, the food system and the relationship of the individual to that system, continues to change and grow in complexity. Eating is an everyday event that is part of everyone’s lives. There are many commentaries on the nature of these changes to what, where and how we eat and their socio-cultural, environmental, educational, economic and health consequences. Among this discussion, the term "food literacy" has emerged to acknowledge the broad role food and eating play in our lives and the empowerment that comes from meeting food needs well. 

    In this book, contributors from Australia, China, United Kingdom and North America provide a review of international research on food literacy and how this can be applied in schools, health care settings and public education and communication at the individual, group and population level. 

    These varying perspectives will give the reader an introduction to this emerging concept. The book gathers current insights and provides a platform for discussion to further understanding and application in this field. It stimulates the reader to conceptualise what food literacy means to their practice and to critically review its potential contribution to a range of outcomes.

    1. Introduction: Food Literacy for Contemporary Food and Eating 

    Helen Vidgen 

    2. An Overview of the Use of the Term Food Literacy 

    Andrea Begley and Helen Vidgen 

    3. A Definition of Food Literacy and its Components 

    Helen Vidgen 

    4. Relating Food Literacy to Nutrition and Health 

    Helen Vidgen 

    5. Using a Health Literacy Frame to Conceptualise Food Literacy 

    Doris E. Gillis 

    6. Food Literacy and Food Choice: A Constructionist Perspective 

    Carole A. Bisogni, Stephanie M. Bostic, Jeffery Sobal and Margaret Jastran 

    7. Food Literacy Beyond the Individual: The Nexus between Personal Skills and Victim Blaming 

    Martin Caraher 

    8. The Nexus between Food Literacy, Food Security and Disadvantage 

    Danielle Gallegos 

    9. The Development of Food Literacy 

    Helen Vidgen 

    10. Developing Food Literacy through the Education Sector: A Focus on Home Economics 

    Sandra Fordyce-Voorham and Theresa Lai Yeung Wai Ling 

    11. Developing Food Literacy through the Health Sector 

    Andrea Begley 

    12. Developing Food Literacy through Food Production 

    Heather Yeatman 

    13. Measuring Food Literacy 

    Rebecca Mckecknie 

    14. Food Literacy: Key Concepts and the Elephants in the Room 

    Helen Vidgen and Martin Caraher


    Helen Vidgen has worked as a public health nutritionist in government, civil society and academic organizations for over twenty years. During this time she has been involved in the development of policy, programmes and evaluation. Her PhD thesis defined food literacy and its relationship to nutrition. She continues to work in this and other areas related to the everyday practicalities of meeting nutrition recommendations at the Queensland University of Technology, Australia.