Why are Americans against eating insects?



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Some scientists are worried about food shortages in the future as the population grows, and food production is not growing fast enough to keep up (Tao and Li 2018). This has led many scientists to look at insects as potential replacements or supplements to current livestock because insects are much more efficient, cheap, and environmentally friendly to raise than traditional live stock and have more protein per mass (Hartmann and Siegrist 2017). However, the trouble is to get Americans and other Westerners to accept insects into their diet because they are the largest consumers of meat in the world, and to be able to do that we need to understand the Western aversion to eating insects. (Schuursman 2014) According to my research, the most likely factors that cause United States citizens to have an aversion to eating insects are because they see insects as pests to their crops, because insects look alien and scary to them, and, or because eating insects is not convenient, cheap, or socially accepted (Bellisle 2006). My study showed that there is a positive relationship between interest in trying insects and likelihood of buying them from the store, between not seeing insects as a pest and interest in trying insects, someone’s adventurousness and their openness to trying new foods, and the likelihood of eating insects if it was socially accepted and interest in trying insects. My results are important because they show that there are several identifiable factors that determine whether or not someone is interested in trying insects. This shows that by meeting these factors, we can get Westerners to at the very least try insects.



Fall 2018