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Engaging with Controversies in the Food System

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.

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.

This course is for anyone curious about what their food contains, and what this means for their health and the environment. Professionals in the food and environment sectors will find this course useful for providing an up to date analysis of topical debates. Teachers may also find this course a useful resource for their students studying food science subjects.

Please note this course runs without facilitation. The Educators won’t be able to join the discussions themselves or respond to individual comments, but the course encourages a strong learning community. The learning is focused around debate and discussion – supporting other learners, sharing your own experience and knowledge, and listening to new perspectives. We hope that you will enjoy interacting with and learning from each other in this way. Don’t forget to comment, reply to other learners and ‘like’ comments.


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

Duration & Dates


Audience & Eligibility

Anyone curious about what their food contains, and what this means for their health and the environment







Registration Open & Seats




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Structure & Modules

Week 1: Alternative proteins

  • Introducing alternative proteins
  • Stakeholder perspectives
  • Analyse & Reflect

Week 2: Palm oil

  • Introducing palm oil
  • Stakeholder perspectives
  • Analyse & Reflect

Week 3: Probiotics

  • Introducing probiotics
  • Stakeholder perspectives
  • Analyse & Reflect