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Journal Article

Journal article

psychology of eating insects: A cross-cultural comparison between Germany and China  [2015]

Hartmann, Christina; Alice Giusto; Jing Shi; Michael Siegrist;

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Based on their high nutritional value and low production costs, insects are an excellent and sustainable source of animal protein. In contrast to countries such as China, in Western societies, the consumption of insects is not rooted in traditional diet. Data for the present study was collected from adults in Germany (n=502) and China (n=443). A cross-cultural comparison was conducted based on consumers’ willingness to eat different insect-based, processed (e.g., cookies based on cricket flour) and unprocessed (e.g., crickets) food. The influence of food neophobia on consumers’ willingness to eat insects was examined. The Chinese rated all insect-based food more favourably with regard to taste, nutritional value, familiarity and social acceptance compared with the Germans. Also, they indicated greater willingness to eat the tested food products, and no differences were observed between their ratings of processed and unprocessed food. The Germans reported higher willingness to eat the processed insect-based foods compared to the unprocessed foods. Further results revealed that low scores for food neophobia, positive taste expectations, high scores for social acceptance and experiences with eating insects in the past were significant predictors of consumers’ willingness to eat insects in both countries. Consequently, the introduction of insects as a food source in Western societies seems more likely to succeed if insects are incorporated into familiar
food items, which will reduce neophobic reactions and negative attitudes towards insect-based foods.

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Food quality and preference

ISSN : 0950-3293