What's for dinner? Sushi, with a side of crickets

March 11, 2019

While insects have been consumed for centuries worldwide, many people still haven't warmed to the idea of a creepy-crawly on the tongue.

But if your next dinner recipe involves raw fish, seaweed, wasabi and rice - the key ingredients for sushi - chances are you might enjoy some deep-fried crickets or beetles on the side.

For the first time, an international study led by La Trobe University and the University of Pennsylvania, has found that people who frequently consume sushi are more open to introducing edible insects into their diets.

This was particularly the case with the American sample - of the 82 per cent of participants questioned in the study who said they would be willing to eat insects, 43 per cent ate sushi on a regular basis.

Co-author Dr Matthew Ruby, Lecturer in Psychology at La Trobe University, said sushi could be considered a gateway food to insects.

"Until relatively recently, the idea of trying sushi - let alone having it become a mainstream menu item - was often thought of with disgust in many societies," Dr Ruby said.

"Just like eating sushi, eating insects will take some getting used to."

"It appears the more open you are to 'exotic' foods, the more willing you'll be to taste-test a grasshopper, or an ant, or even a spider."

The researched involved 476 participants - 275 from the United States and 201 India. In addition to the link between eating sushi and consuming insects, other key findings included:Co-author Paul Rozin, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, noted that 28 per cent of Indian participants and 65 per cent of American participants were willing to try food containing at least 1 per cent insect flour.

"Insect flour can be found as a protein-rich substitute for some standard grain flours in products like crackers, biscuits and protein bars," Professor Emeritus Rozin said.

"This could be another way to introduce insects into your diet, if the idea of crunching into a whole bug doesn't appeal to you."

There are over 2,000 edible species of insects throughout the world. Many species are non-toxic and can serve as a source of high-quality protein and micronutrients.

Furthermore, raising insects for food is typically much more environmentally sustainable than many commonly consumed animals in terms of food efficiency, water use, required farming space, and greenhouse gas emissions.
-end-
The research has been published in Food Quality and Preference.

Media contact: Dragana Mrkaja - 0447 508 171 - d.mrkaja@latrobe.edu.au

La Trobe University

Related Greenhouse Gas Articles from Brightsurf:

Make your own greenhouse gas logger
Researchers at Linköping University's Department of Thematic Studies, Environmental Change, have developed a simple logger for greenhouse gas flows.

Old carbon reservoirs unlikely to cause massive greenhouse gas release
As global temperatures rise, permafrost and methane hydrates -- large reservoirs of ancient carbon -- have the potential to break down, releasing enormous quantities of the potent greenhouse gas methane.

Mediterranean rainfall immediately affected by greenhouse gas changes
Mediterranean-type climates face immediate drops in rainfall when greenhouse gases rise, but this could be interrupted quickly if emissions are cut.

Seeking better guidelines for inventorying greenhouse gas emissions
Governments around the world are striving to hit reduction targets using Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines to limit global warming.

Nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas, is on the rise
A new study from an international group of scientists finds we are releasing more of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide into the atmosphere than previously thought.

Atmospheric pressure impacts greenhouse gas emissions from leaky oil and gas wells
Fluctuations in atmospheric pressure can heavily influence how much natural gas leaks from wells below the ground surface at oil and gas sites, according to new University of British Columbia research.

Natural-gas leaks are important source of greenhouse gas emissions in Los Angeles
Liyin He, a Caltech graduate student, finds that methane in L.A.'s air correlates with the seasonal use of gas for heating homes and businesses

From greenhouse gas to fuel
University of Delaware scientists are part of an international team of researchers that has revealed a new approach to convert carbon dioxide gas into valuable chemicals and fuels.

UBC researchers explore an often ignored source of greenhouse gas
In a new study from UBC's Okanagan campus, researchers have discovered a surprising new source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions -- bicarbonates hidden in the lake water used to irrigate local orchards.

Corncob ethanol may help cut China's greenhouse gas emissions
A new Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining study has found that using ethanol from corncobs for energy production may help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in China, if used instead of starch-based ethanol.

Read More: Greenhouse Gas News and Greenhouse Gas Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.