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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

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Record number 534386
Title Insects are not ‘the new sushi’: theories of practice and the acceptance of novel foods
Author(s) House, Jonas
Source Social & Cultural Geography (2018). - ISSN 1464-9365 - 22 p.
Department(s) Sociology of Consumption and Households
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) edibility - edible insects - entomophagy - novel food - sushi - theories of practice
Abstract Food geographies have long grappled with the interplay between production and consumption. Theories of practice offer productive new ways of conceptualising the mutual implication of supply and demand in shaping food consumption, yet little work has approached the subject of novel foods from this perspective. This paper applies practice-theoretic analysis to two novel foods, aiming to demonstrate the utility of the approach for a number of substantive areas and to extend conceptual and theoretical debates within food geographies. The paper compares sushi (a novel food successfully established in the US in the 1960s) and insects (a novel ‘sustainable’ protein source for Western markets, which to date has been relatively unsuccessful). Many accounts portray sushi’s success as the result of marketing efforts and the role of a ‘gateway dish’, arguing that insects – as ‘the new sushi’ – can follow this model to achieve widespread acceptance. It is argued that sushi’s initial Western establishment was instead due to pre-existent practices ‘carried’ to a new location, where the practices’ relevant constituent elements were also present. Conversely, European food insects are not clearly assimilable within pre-existing practices; instead, integration into existing food practices has been attempted. Such efforts are demonstrably problematic.
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