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Food evolution

We live in a world of plenty, with more than enough food to choose from, but what influences which foods we decide to buy and eat?

Year 11 Food Technology students have been learning about the influences on food availability, including global migration and the use of native foods, and the factors influencing food selection in Australia today, such as nutritional requirements and reactions to food.

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As a stimulus, the students looked at the Australian TV series “Back in Time for Dinner”, guided by Annabel Crabb. The series depicts part of Australia’s food evolution, and offers a unique opportunity to consider the social, economic, and political forces of our times and how they impact on everyday life.

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“In 60 years, Australians have gone from food being influenced by our British heritage to having the world on our dinner plate, and our recipes have gone from being handed down through our mothers to simply being downloaded.” While investigating influences on food availability, the students considered historical changes such as technological developments, global migration and the use of native foods, and prepared dishes such as Lemon Myrtle Scones, Asian Beef Stir Fry, and Chicken Curry with Spiced Rice.

A number of factors influence food selection, including physiological and psychological factors such as hunger, nutritional requirements, allergies, and reactions to food. There are also broader social and economic factors including family preferences, cultural tradition, social influences, convenience, and cost.

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The girls developed their practical skills by preparing and presenting foods such as Zucchini and Corn Muffins, Mini Hot Cross Buns and a Sensory Food Taste Testing of juices and various foods. The way food looks, smells, feels and tastes play a huge role in determining what we choose to eat. A masterclass on Techniques to Style Food inspired the students to create and decorate Red Velvet, and Lime and Coconut Cupcakes.

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