01/23/2012 02:06 EST | Updated 03/24/2012 05:12 EDT

Food literacy involves knowing how to interpret recipes, use cooking equipment

"Food literacy" is not a well or consistently defined term in existing research and literature, but here are some elements that comprise it:

— Cooking skills

— Use of both fresh (or raw) and prepared ingredients

— Knowledge of and ability to use equipment required in cooking

— Knowledge of how to read and interpret recipes

— An understanding of how food is grown

— Knowledge of nutritive value of food

Source: Heather Thomas, public health dietitian, Middlesex-London Health Unit, London, Ont.