Reed, Melissa, Bailey F. Norwood, W. Wyatt Hoback, & Angel Riggs (2021, May). A survey of willingness to consume insects and a measure of college student perceptions of insect consumption using Q methodology. Future Foods. (ePub in advance of print) (doi: 10.1016/j.fufo.2021.100046) (Preprint:

Abstract: Entomophagy is a rare practice in the United States and Western Europe, but there are signs that it is gaining in popularity. This study seeks to gauge potential growth in entomophagy through two methods. First, we conducted a survey of 1,021 Americans to gauge their willingness to consume food products containing cricket powder compared with raw oysters, a food that has a similar “yuck” factor like insects but is nevertheless a widely consumed food. The results indicate that about one-third of Americans are willing to both try and consume insect products on a regular basis, provided they are tasty and safe to eat. Those most receptive to entomophagy are male, college-educated, younger with higher incomes, politically liberal and non-white. Second, we assessed 29 college students across 12 majors using a Q-sort where students arranged 41 statements representing a variety of opinions and beliefs about insect consumption. Post sort interviews and factor scores identified two perspectives: students who would eat insects to benefit the greater good through sustainability, and students who were strongly repulsed by the thought of eating insects. Together, both studies help to identify factors to consider when introducing insect consumption in Western cultures.

Melissa Reed <> is in the Department of Entomology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA.

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