New study explores attitudes to putting edible insects on the menu

Food scientists have launched a study to look into people’s attitudes towards protein alternatives including more unusual protein sources like edible insects and volunteers are needed to take part.

The research is being led by the Division of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Nottingham and the findings from the online study will be used to help the food industry develop sustainable new products. The research group are particulary keen to encourage male participants to take part.

Part of the objective of our study is to understand how UK consumers perceive sustainable diets and how accepting they would be to alternative protein sources including; plant-based proteins, edible insects and cultured meat. Since the initial launch of the study the majority of responses have been from women so we are really keen to get more men involved to ensure we have a good balance of response. The more people that take part, the better the results!
PhD student Hannah Ford, research lead
Participants are asked to fill in an online questionnaire that covers a range of topics including; environmental awareness, consumption habits, food choice motives and attitudes and acceptance of protein alternatives

The study will also explore how people from different dietary groups like vegans and vegetarians perceive sustainable diets and whether there are differences amongst those groups.

Hannah continues: “The need to start consuming more sustainable food and beverage products is imperative if we want a more sustainable food secure future. It is regularly reported that there are impending threats of climate change and population growth to our society, which is creating a need to shift current consumer behaviour towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Adopting a more sustainable diet is seen as one solution in tackling these global challenges.

This study will provide useful insights into how the UK views sustainable diets and the willingness to make a dietary transition and accept protein alternatives. Data could be used to inform future research, the food industry and policy level decisions.”

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