Food Media Literacy Project

For a PDF version of the full guidelines [download here]

You have read and viewed a wide variety of texts and technologies about the various aspects of food history, cultures, and meanings. Your task now is to conduct an in-depth analysis of a specific food media environment. As a budding food media scholar and multimedia producer, your goal is to craft the most detailed and insightful analysis as possible, and combine text, images, video, sound, etc. to convey it in the most illuminating way possible.

To get started, go back and review your class notes from this semester, starting with your Food Autobiography. Do you notice anything that you find particularly interesting or insightful that can serve as a springboard for this project? Also review the topics from the assigned readings, related blogs, viewer responses, our class Twitter feed, etc. to see if anything resonates. Reflect on what you’ve learned this semester and choose a food, medium/technology, and context that you find interesting/problematic/worth further exploration at this particular point.

Your goal is to successfully demonstrate a developing understanding and application of food media literacy principles. The key concepts of media literacy that have guided our inquiry and framed this semester are:

  • Context & Culture
  • Languages & Codes
  • Authorship & Ownership
  • Representation & Impact

The centerpiece of your descriptive analysis and multimedia presentation will be a specific food/beverage, food product, food medium, technology, phenomenon or movement. The following list is illustrative (and not exhaustive):

  • A specific food product or food/beverage
  • A food medium or technology
  • An organization, company, or program
  • A transmedia promotional campaign centered on food or eating/drinking
  • A food-related series on the Web or TV (no films are allowed)
  • Food-related uses of social media

Here are some project ideas that you brainstormed in class. These are merely suggestive and not exhaustive:

  • (Mis)perceptions of nutrition/packaging (Impact)
  • What do people (say they) eat? (Culture/Representation)
  • Food styling/visual aspects (Language and Codes)
  • Ad campaigns (cross-platform and multiple modes/media) or a single food media platform across time (Languages and Codes)
  • Social media impact on [audience] perceptions of food
  • Representations of food via social media (Representation/Language & Codes)
  • Food cultures and (geographical) contexts (Context & Culture)
  • Food porn (Languages & Codes, Representation)
  • Food and the environment (social justice)

As an academic essay, your written critique should follow the norms and standards of college-level writing. This also requires you to do research so that you can frame your selection(s) within the appropriate social, political, and economic contexts.

  1. An introduction with a thesis sentence, a statement of the purpose of your critique, and material that orients the reader to your topic;
  2. Detailed analysis of each of the key concepts of media literacy (listed above).
  3. Your identification of the media literacy concepts with examples from the food media environment that you have chosen will constitute the bulk of your essay.
  4. Concisely end your essay with an overall evaluation and questions for future study.
  5. If you reference facts, critiques or comments of others, be sure to cite them and include the reference in your References list (APA) or Works Cited (MLA) list at the end of your essay (not included in the overall word count).

This production phase should come after you have composed your essay.

Embed the ideas from your essay within a Padlet multimedia presentation of your own design. You will use multimedia (e.g., images, video, text, graphics, social media feeds, etc.) production to illustrate your thesis statement, which can be thought of as the general truth that you derive from the specifics of your analysis. While I encourage creativity in your overall Padlet presentation, the core of this project is your written analysis.

  • Include a presentation title or brief abstract (no more than 30 words) embedded as a text widget.
  • At least 1 image gallery that contains at least three (3) images to directly support your essay.
  • At least 1 embedded video clip to support your essay
  • At least 10 embedded hyperlinks that deepen the readers’ understanding of your ideas.

You can watch a 13-minute tutorial of Padlet here:


  • Upload your essay as a doc, docx, or rtf file (no Pages or PDF files) within the Food Media Literacy Project assignment in Canvas so that it can be run through anti-plagiarism software.


Component Submission Deadline
Project Proposal (1 page) HARD COPY Wed, Nov 22nd 1:00pm EST
Rough Outline/Draft (Group 1 ONLY) HARD COPY Fri, Dec 1st 1:00pm EST
Rough Outline/Draft (Group 2 ONLY) HARD COPY Wed, Dec 6th 1:00pm EST
Oral Presentations (Group 1 ONLY) Fri, Dec 8th 1:00-2:15pm EST
Oral Presentations (Group 2 ONLY) Wed, Dec 13th 1:00-2:15pm EST
Final Submission of Essay/Padlet
Fri, Dec 15th 11:59pm EST
no late assignments accepted

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