One in five people ready to adopt bugs into their diet: Men twice as likely

One in five meat eaters from the Western world are ready to eat bugs as a meat substitute a new study has found – with men more likely than women to accept them.

Bugs have been touted as a meat replacement for some time now but a study from Ghent University has revealed that young men who have “weak” attitudes towards meat are going to be the most likely to adopt insects into their diet.

The study found that young men who are interested in novel foods and concerned about the environmental impact of their food are the most likely to be found snacking on insects.

Out of those questioned, 16.3% claimed to be ready, and 3% definitely ready, to eat the protein-rich, sustainable insects.

They also found that males are 2.17 times more likely to adopt insects than women.

This, they concluded, is because it “may be that males have a more adventurous taste orientation or find the idea of consuming insects less disgusting than women.”


Wim Verbeke who worked on the research said that a 10 year increase in age led to a 27% decrease in the chance of people eating insects.

“Men and younger consumers seem to have a more adventurous taste orientation or they find the idea of consuming insects less disgusting than women and older consumers.”

Those behind the study said that people who were likely to turn their noses up at bugs were likely to do so because the insects are produced and farmed in unknown ways.

“This indicates that insects are not only perceived as a novel food but also as food that is produced by unknown and unfamiliar technologies, thus leading to uncertainty and adverse reactions among consumers,” Verbeke added.

This could be solved by teaching people how insects are grown and produced, which would lead to a positive influence over their likelihood to eat the bugs, Verbeke said.


However, they concluded that typical Western “meat-lovers” would be unlikely to consider including insects in their diets.

In reality, the adoption of insects into a Western diet will come down to how they are branded and marketed.

Those who do adopt them are likely to be trendsetters and have a large potential influence over the general public.

Researchers conducted the study in Belgium and used a population of typical Western meat consumers with a total of 368 people participating in the survey.

We previously tried cooking with bugs to see if they are the future of food.

Carbon black: Using old tires to make longer lasting batteries

Old disused tires can be utilised to help make batteries that last longer and also have long-term stability.

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) believe that lithium-ion batteries, storing wind and solar energy and powering plug-in electric vehicles, could be developed at a lower cost, both financially and to the environment, by developing a better anode made from a substance found in recycled tires.

An anode is a negatively charged electrode used as a host for storing lithium during charging.

The substance, recovered from discarded tires, is carbon black.

Modifying its microstructural characteristics is the solution to developing a better anode, says the team led by Parans Paranthaman and Amit Naskar.


“This technology addresses the need to develop an inexpensive, environmentally benign carbon composite anode material with high-surface area, higher-rate capability and long-term stability,” Naskar said.

“Using waste tires for products such as energy storage is very attractive not only from the carbon materials recovery perspective but also for controlling environmental hazards caused by waste tire stock piles,” Paranthaman added.

Outlined in a paper published in the journal RSC Advances, the ORNL technique uses a proprietary pretreatment to recover pyrolytic carbon black material.


The material is similar to graphite but man-made.

The researchers produced a small, laboratory-scale battery with a reversible capacity that is higher than what is possible with commercial graphite materials.

After 100 cycles, the capacity measures nearly 390 milliamp hours per gram of carbon anode, exceeding the best properties of commercial graphite which researchers say is due to the unique microstructure of the carbon black material.

“This kind of performance is highly encouraging, especially in light of the fact that the global battery market for vehicles and military applications is approaching $78 billion and the materials market is expected to hit $11 billion in 2018,” Paranthaman commented.