3 years ago

A qualitative exploration of the factors underlying seniors' receptiveness to entomophagy

A qualitative exploration of the factors underlying seniors' receptiveness to entomophagy
Entomophagy presents a novel approach to securing a nutritive and environmentally sustainable food source to meet the needs of a growing and ageing population. To date, research exploring the receptiveness of Western consumers towards entomophagy has focused on younger age groups and there has been little examination of the views of older adults. The aims of this study were to (i) explore the factors associated with older people's attitudes towards entomophagy and (ii) identify strategies to encourage seniors to adopt the practice. Interviews were conducted with 77 Western Australian seniors aged 60years and over. The average age of the interviewees was 73years and most were female (n=67). Reflecting the lack of promotion of entomophagy as a desirable eating behaviour, there were very low levels of awareness of the environmental and nutritional advantages of this practice. Most of the interviewed seniors saw entomophagy as a disgusting practice that was incompatible with their cultural beliefs and values, however a small group viewed it as a novel and potentially enjoyable experience. The findings suggest that strategies to target the former group could focus on overcoming the disgust reaction, such as by disguising insects in food and providing guarantees of food safety. Consumption in the latter group could be facilitated by improving knowledge and skills relating to the preparation of insect-based foods. Strategies to increase entomophagy in the Western world need to consider the unique views of different consumer groups towards the practice.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0963996917307160

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