Sustainable Healthy Food Systems Training at the University of Malta

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  • Title: Sustainable Healthy Food Systems Training at the University of Malta: A Preliminary Mapping Exercise
  • Author(s): Suzanne Piscopo , Karen Mugliett
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Food Studies
  • Journal Title: Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal
  • Keywords: Sustainable Healthy Food Systems, Higher Education, Training, University of Malta, Mapping Exercise, Socioecological Framework
  • Volume: 12
  • Issue: 2
  • Date: November 22, 2022
  • ISSN: 2160-1933 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2160-1941 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2160-1933/CGP/v12i02/33-47
  • Citation: Piscopo, Suzanne, and Karen Mugliett. 2022. "Sustainable Healthy Food Systems Training at the University of Malta: A Preliminary Mapping Exercise." Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 12 (2): 33-47. doi:10.18848/2160-1933/CGP/v12i02/33-47.
  • Extent: 15 pages

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Abstract

The urgent need for transformation of food systems into sustainable healthy food systems (SHFS) is receiving global attention. The crucial involvement of all players in a nation’s food system has been underlined, including the role of higher education institutions as ideal places to train future employees or employers along the food supply-consumption continuum, future professionals who can influence food behaviors in various sectors, and individuals as responsible consumers and advocates. With this backdrop, a two-stage study was conducted that involved a review of key international and national documents to identify SHFS education or training mentions and a preliminary mapping exercise of the programs of different academic entities at the University of Malta (UM) to identify where food, food systems, and/or sustainability are addressed. A synthesizing narrative of the findings of the document review indicates that SHFS are mentioned in different contexts. A content analysis of the course programs and relevant study-unit descriptions shows that the Faculty of Education, the Faculty of Health Sciences, the Institute of Earth Systems, and the Institute of Tourism, Travel and Culture are the four UM entities where multiple aspects of SHFS are addressed. Each entity has its own strength, and areas covered include food, nutrition, health and culture; food science, technology, and production; food policy, regulations, and sustainability issues; and pedagogies for food and sustainability education. Results highlight opportunities for extension, collaboration, and innovation in the UM’s training for potential players in SHFS, and could help inform achievement of the UM’s 2020–2025 Strategic Plan.