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    Why do people eat what they do and how might we impact upon these choices? These are the questions explored in this paper, which provides an interdisciplinary review of food choice.

    The overall aim of this course is for students to be conversant in the major factors influencing consumer food choice.

    This course also aims to link teaching and research. Therefore, throughout the semester you can expect to be engaged in both discussing and doing research with consumers about the food choices that they make.

    The course provides opportunities for exploration of consumer food issues outside of the classroom with multiple field trips.

    Finally, the course will inspire you to become an engaged citizen in food-related debates.

    About this paper

    Paper title Food and Consumers
    Subject Food Science
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,173.30
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    54 200-level points
    Schedule C
    This is a required course for all students majoring in Consumer Food Science. It is also suitable for undergraduate and diploma students of all disciplines, who have achieved at least 54 200-level points and who are interested in engaging with consumer food choice issues. Students who do not hold the FOSC 111 prerequisite may apply for special permission to take FOSC 308.
    Teaching staff

    Convenor and Lecturer: Professor Miranda Mirosa
    A number of guest lecturers will also contribute to the paper.

    Paper Structure

    The course is structured to allow for a logical development of your understanding of consumers' food choices, moving from a macro (e.g. broad cultural issues) perspective to a more micro (e.g. psychological), bringing it all together at the end of the course.

    This course involves two main teaching methods:

    1. Lectures will be used to overview the key course material. These will be delivered by both the course lecturer, Miranda Mirosa, and several invited guest lecturers.

      The lectures are arranged in the following sections, each representing different sets of influences on food choice: (1) Socio-cultural; (2) Regulatory; (3) Civil society; (4) Structural; (5) Intrinsic and extrinsic; and (6) Psychological.

      The first hour of each lecture will consist of a "traditional" delivery of content via a PPT presentation from the lecturer. The second hour of each lecture is designed to be interactive and will employ what is known as the 'Socratic discussion' approach to teaching to investigate several ethical and moral issues related to our food system. In this approach, the lecturer will ask class groups provocative probing questions to progressively challenge your thinking and to help you obtain a deeper understanding of complex consumer food issues. You are expected to actively partake in these group discussions.

    2. Tutorials consist of workshops and field trips related to that week's lecture content.
    Teaching Arrangements

    Contact time is four hours per week. You will be expected to spend approximately four hours outside these contact hours on study per week. This time will be spent reading the recommended readings and working on the internal assessment.


    There is no compulsory course reader. You will be required to read several scholarly journal articles and book chapters that will be provided during the course. These articles will be posted on the class blackboard site and you will be reminded about them in class.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Knowledge-orientated learning outcomes are:

    • An appreciation and understanding of the complexities of consumer food choice
    • An interdisciplinary perspective of food choice
    • An ability to think critically and to grapple with complex questions about the implications of food choice
    • An understanding of a range of consumer research methods that can be used to examine consumers’ food choices
    • A reflexive understanding of your own personal "food" habits
    • An appreciation and understanding of food policy

    Skill-orientated learning outcomes are:

    • To be conversant in how internal and external factors influence, and are influenced by, consumer food choice
    • An ability to develop an action plan for implementing a food-related policy change
    • An ability to partake in group discussion
    • An ability to work in a group situation
    • Communicate research and ideas via written and verbal means
    • An ability to think through your own perceptions, ideas and solutions so that you are better prepared to make thoughtful choices about food consumption and disposal


    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Wednesday 14:00-15:50 29-35, 37-42


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Friday 09:00-10:50 29-35, 37-42
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