Engaging with Controversies in the Food System (FutureLearn)

Engaging with Controversies in the Food System (FutureLearn)
Course Auditing
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This course is for anyone curious about what their food contains, and what this means for their health and the environment.
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Engaging with Controversies in the Food System (FutureLearn)
Become more confident in making informed decisions about the food you eat by exploring different food controversies. Learn how to assess the reliability of different sources of food information. Consumers have never been confronted with so much food choice. Making a decision on what food to eat is affected by many factors, including media reports, diet research findings, and social media.

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On this course, you’ll access leading research and expert insights to make sense of some of the most common food controversies - alternative proteins, palm oil, and probiotics.

You’ll understand the viewpoints of stakeholders and reflect on your own food preferences. By improving your knowledge of these food debates, you’ll build the confidence to make more informed decisions about food.


What topics will you cover?

Each week focuses on one controversy, explains what it is and how it is understood by differently situated stakeholders in the food sector. Learners are encouraged (as consumers) to take a critical stance on the different perspectives held by different stakeholders and adjust their practice accordingly.


Week 1: Introduction and Alternative Proteins

What do we mean by the term ‘controversies’?

Assessing the reliability of different sources of information.

Overview of alternative proteins (especially insects as protein for human consumption).

The pros and cons of alternative proteins and why they’re needed.


Week 2: Palm oil in food and related products

Discover the wide variety of products palm oil is found in.

Understand the issues at stake, from the perspectives of nutrition, the environment and worker welfare.

Find out how industry is adapting its practices.


Week 3: The use of probiotics

The history of probiotics and their benefits to human health.

Learn about the processes involved in probiotic development, from discovery to product certification.

Gain confidence in analyzing advertisements and health claims.


What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

- Demonstrate knowledge of three topical food controversies that affect human health, welfare and the environment

- Reflect on your own food preferences and make better informed decisions about which products to buy for yourself and your family

- Justify your choices and engage others, contributing to improvements in industry practice and an overall better understanding of the food system amongst consumers

- Interpret news reports, apply critical thinking and be proficient at analysing media coverage of food controversies

- Reflect on the perspectives of different stakeholders and recognise the myriad challenges and trade-offs such a complex system creates



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MOOC List is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Course Auditing
64.00 EUR
This course is for anyone curious about what their food contains, and what this means for their health and the environment.

MOOC List is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.