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ERIC Number: EJ1153096
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1082-1651
Food Literacy: A Critical Tool in a Complex Foodscape
Slater, Joyce
Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, v109 n2 p14-20 Spr 2017
We live in the most complex food environment in human history. Our global food system, which rose over the course of the 20th and early 21st centuries, has had an enormous impact on what and how we eat. This arrangement, currently dominated by a small number of "agri-food" companies, has produced an abundance of inexpensive, readily available food in a seemingly endless array of "choices." The agriculture and food sector is also a major force in the global economy; in 2014, agriculture and related food industries contributed 5.7% to the total U.S. Gross Domestic Product (United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, 2014), and agriculture and food manufacturing accounted for 24% of U.S. employment. Despite these economic contributions, however, this "foodscape" is having a negative impact on health and well-being. We are in the midst of an obesity epidemic fueled by dependence on highly processed, branded convenience foods that typically are energy dense and nutrient poor. Dependence on these foods also contributes to the disappearance of traditional food customs and food skills, and this undermines efforts to educate youth about food, nutrition, and cooking. Scholars, healthcare professionals, educators, and parents are increasingly concerned about the erosion of foundational food knowledge, which fuels a vicious cycle of dependence on corporate ultra-processed food. Food literacy is proposed here as a conceptual and practical means of protecting citizens, especially youth, against the negative impact of our complex foodscape.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A