The Multiple Insect - An explorative case-study of edible insects

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Tanya Østergaard Larsen
  • Kenny Henrik Knudsen
The introduction of insects as a food item in the western parts of the world has been hailed as a possible solution to the question of how to make the global food system sustainable, as insects have been estimated to constitute as a possible source of sustainable animal protein production. There are over 2 billion people on the planet which on a daily basis consumes edible insects as a way of life. The introduction of the edible insect in the Western part of the world is met with fear and disgust, as the inherent food culture that resides, prevent the edible insects to make its way. Therefore this case study is set out to explore the different enactments of the edible insect within Copenhagen, Denmark, as to see if the insect can be enacted as a food item.

The empirical data is collected with the help of six different couples (three with children, three without) and is based on semi-structured interviews and the use of photo elicitation. The theoretical framework by Annemarie Mol’s multiplicity theory has been applied in order to understand the different bonds, networks and realities the insect created within our informants. The couples were presented with five different products, all containing a form of insect, and pre- and post-interviews were conducted, to see if and how the edible insects are enacted.

Throughout our analysis and discussion, we have observed the edible insect become a multiple object, enacted through various actors, and created networks to other parts of the food spectra. We have also witnessed the insect create networks to gameshows, Disney movies, diamonds, travel excitements, negative associations and the list goes on. The case of the edible insect making its way into the kitchen of couples from Greater Copenhagen were not an easy task to succeed and were perhaps not meant to. A reassessment of how food is thought of is in need of a change, in order for it to triumph.
LanguageEnglish
Publication date1 Jun 2018
Number of pages126
ID: 280247196