Post by Joris Baars
On September, 20th, Tiny Farms participated in an annual local awareness event (ZimbabWeCare) put on by the JF Kapnek Trust - an organization providing pediatric aid to Zimbabwe. People could get some information about edible insects and a free taste of some insects. We thought it would be a nice experiment to see how many people would actually taste an insect, so we decided to keep track of this during the event.
We served free samples of 3 different flavoured crickets: salted, curried and soy-sauce. The charity event attracted mostly children with their parents. This gave a good opportunity to see the difference between adults and children tasting a cricket. Our findings are put in the table below.
What is interesting to see is that the percentage of children who tried a cricket is 68% and the percentage of adults who tried a cricket is only 30%. What we often saw was that a group of children stimulated each other, the phrase “If you do it, I will do it” came by very often which resulted in a snowball effect of children trying a cricket.
Many adults showed a lot of interest in edible insects but the border to actually grab one and taste it was in many cases too high. However, often the adults and children who showed interested, but found the border to high, returned and still tasted a cricket. Their change in behaviour was often explained by “my friend said it was good” or “my son tried one, now I have to try it to”.
The overall opinion about the taste was rather good and “not so bad as I expected”. The word “Nice!” came by very often, and some children even came back 2 or 3 times to get more.
Around 150 people attended the event and most of them came by our table, with over 50% trying the crickets. At this rate things are looking pretty good for acceptance of insect protein.