Effective Strategies Adopted by Migrants to Improve Food Security in Tasmania

By Joanne Sin Wei Yeoh, Daniel R. Terry, Quynh Le and Rosa McManamey.

Published by Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 5, 2015 $US5.00

Accessibility, affordability, availability, and sustainability of food are vital for all to achieve food security. Specifically, attention should be given to people of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities such as migrants who settle in a new country. When migrants first reach the host country, they may encounter different food security challenges. Thus, various strategies are required to promote greater food security among migrants. This study aims to investigate the acculturation strategies adopted by migrants to improve their food security in Tasmania. A mixed methods approach using questionnaires and semi-structured interviews was used to gather data from 301 questionnaire participants and 33 interviewees. The data indicated that 42.2% of migrants replaced cultural ingredients with other locally sourced items and 25.8% of migrants went without, while, 46.0% of the participants received ongoing support from friends in terms of food access. These were three strategies that were utilised by many migrants in this study. Loglinear analysis and chi-square tests showed that region of origin and length of stay in Tasmania were factors that influenced migrants’ attitudes in coping with food security issues. Interview data revealed six main acculturation strategies: access from other places; adaptation; home gardening; equipping self with food knowledge; support from social networks; and access to technology. In addition, social and cultural capital was also vital in improving migrants’ food security. Overall, migrants employed different strategies for food security while acculturating into the new environment. These strategies employed may guide policy among various government or private sector organisations that seek to address food security issues and enhance migrants’ food security.

Keywords: Strategies, Migrants, Food Security

Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 4, Issue 3-4, March 2015, pp.1-13. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 5, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 562.483KB)).

Dr Joanne Sin Wei Yeoh

PhD Candidate, Centre for Rural Health, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

Dr. Daniel R. Terry

Rural Health Academic Centre, University of Melbourne, Shepparton, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Quynh Le

Senior Lecturer, Graduate Research Coordinator, Centre for Rural Health, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

Dr. Rosa McManamey

Honorary Research Associate, Centre for Rural Health, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia