Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version

Spring 2014

Thesis Advisor

Katherine Moore, Paul Rozin


With growing threats to food security worldwide, academic and popular literature has increasingly highlighted the prospect of using insects, given the attractive nutritional profile and productive efficiency of many species, as a protein source for humans. This project adopts anthropological and psychological perspectives to understand both the acceptance of and reluctance to using insects as food, as they continue to be traditional foodstuffs in many cultures. To do so, the project overviews in-depth case studies of traditional insect consumption in Mexico, Japan, and New Guinea. To complement this ethnographic inquiry, survey responses from adults in the United States and India are analyzed to help identify predictors of willingness to consume insects. Integrating these secondary and primary research insights underscore the prominence of disgust as a mediating factor in the acceptability of insect foods. Implications for policymakers and future researchers to transform attitudes and verify sustainability are discussed, given this prevalent cultural and psychological barrier.

Included in

Anthropology Commons



Date Posted: 08 June 2016


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