‘Healthy foods’ are those contained within the five food groups promoted by the Australian Dietary Guidelines. These include grain (cereal) foods; vegetables of various types and colours, as well as legumes and beans; fruit; lean meats, poultry and fish, nuts and tofu; and reduced fat dairy foods including milk, yoghurt, cheese and their alternatives. ‘Unhealthy’ foods are classified as those described by the Australian Dietary Guidelines as ‘discretionary choices’ and include sweet biscuits, pastries, processed meats and foods high in fat, salt and sugar.
Food retail outlets
Food retail outlets include supermarkets and smaller stores such as delicatessens. ‘Healthy’ retail outlets vary in their definition, however, a WA study defined healthy food outlets as “supermarkets, general stores, fruit and vegetable stores, and butchers, as these premises provide significant options for the purchase of healthy food” . Key influences of location or placement of food retail outlets include the density of the population, transportation routes and land use zoning.
Pre-prepared food outlets
Prepared food outlets include fast food outlets, convenience stores and takeaway restaurants, food service (i.e. catering) and other services such as Meals on Wheels. The Western Australian Planning and Development Regulations 2015 defined fast food outlets/lunch bars as “premises, including premises with a facility for drive-through service, used for the preparation, sale and serving of food to customers in a form ready to be eaten – (a) without further preparation; and (b) primarily off the premises” . An Australian study by Miller et al (2014) expanded on this definition, adding “all of the well-known multinational fast food chain outlets and also all takeaway establishments, which included, for example, locally owned Chinese, Indian, and Thai restaurants; fish and chip shops; burger bars; and pizzerias”.
Farmers’ markets are regular markets that involve farmers selling fresh produce in key community locations, directly to customers. Farmers’ markets can operate in community facilities such as school grounds or public ovals.
Food hubs are facilities that purchase, store, distribute and market locally produced food.
Urban agriculture has been defined as “the practice of cultivating, processing, and distributing food in or around (peri-urban) a village, town, or city” .
Community gardens include shared development of productive gardens in reserved land.
Urban orchards involve the growing and sharing of food by a local community within an urban municipality.
Verge side and residential gardens
Verge gardens include food production on nature strips and are often maintained by local residents, while residential/domestic gardens are defined as “private gardens associated with residential areas” .
Food transport includes food distribution, with key influencers including transport systems, regulation and taxation.”