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We will eat disgusting foods together – evidence of the normative basis of Western entomophagy-disgust from an insect tasting

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Insects are a highly sustainable and nutritional source of protein, and, thus, incorporating insects in to Western food culture would address major global challenges such as global warming, deforestation, and obesity. Consumer studies show, however, that Westerners’ willingness to eat insect-containing food is low. One formidable barrier is the perception that insects are disgusting, and it is generally believed that this insect-disgust is driven by an evolutionary wired fear of contamination and disease. In the present study, we tested the biological and cultural roots of Western insect-disgust with a survey and a tasting session administered to a Danish college sample (N = 198). Univariate and multivariate regression analyses of the results, revealed that Perceived Infectability and selfreported trait-level Pathogen Disgust did not consistently predict food neophobia, insect-disgust, willingness to eat insects, and actual insect eating behavior in the tasting session. In contrast, perceived social norms emerged as a significant predictor of insect eating behavior. These findings suggest that food culture and perceived social norms play a substantial role in Westerners’ insect-disgust. The result provides reason for optimism for aspirations of introducing insects in Western food diet and point to avenues for harnessing social norms in marketing efforts.
TidsskriftFood Quality and Preference
Sider (fra-til)109-115
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - 2019

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