University student perspectives of entomophagy: Positive attitudes lead to observability and education opportunities

Matthew Petersen, Olivia Olson, Sujaya Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Positive experiences with insect food items that highlight the benefits of insect production and reduce the novelty of entomophagy are needed. Toward this goal, we developed an experiential learning lesson plan that would provide a positive experience with entomophagy and associate key educational content related to insect food items. First, two cricket powder brownie taste-test surveys were conducted with groups of university students to evaluate attitudes relating to insects as food, sustainability of insect production, and nutritional content. Students displayed a taste preference for cricket flour brownies but could not consistently differentiate between brownie types, ranked environmental and nutritional benefits associated with insect food products over taste factors alone, and indicated a positive attitude toward purchasing insect products in the future. Willingness to try other insect products in the future was significantly greater for students with increased experience with consuming insect products. These results were then used to create an university lesson plan that will allows for future evaluation of student attitudes while increasing exposure to entomophagy and providing education on the positive aspects of insects as food production. Our work highlights the favorable attitude toward insect food products shown by university students and how positive perception of entomophagy increases with continued exposure to the practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Insect Science
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was supported by the University of Minnesota's Office of Undergraduate Research through an UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program) award to Olivia Olson. Additional funding was provided by the University of Minnesota Department of Entomology. This study was covered by the University of Minnesota Human Research Protection Program (IRB ID STUDY00007495). We thank all the students and student groups that participated in the campus survey.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Active learning
  • Edible insects
  • Entomophagy
  • Experiential learning
  • Student opinion

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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