SXSW 2022

The Psychology Behind Mainstreaming Insect Cuisine


To feed 10 billion by 2050, we know our food culture & consumer behavior has to change. Luckily we have examples of food culture changing, with foods like tomatoes, lobster, sushi & kale as examples of foods going from strange & undesirable to haute cuisine & kitchen staples. Why then has American food culture lost touch with insect ingredients when so many other cultures around the world still consider them a perfectly normal food?

Join an entrepreneur, chef & scientist to explore how insect ingredients are being positioned to consumers, in both whole & abstracted forms. How can the way a new or unusual food is prepared & served help us normalize & even enjoy something we might otherwise be hesitant hesitant to try, & sway the hearts, minds & even stomachs of today's consumers?

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  1. Food cultures change over time; even sushi, raw fish, was once seen as dangerous in the US, but is now normalized . Can Insect Cuisine repeat this?
  2. How food is presented, and the ways in which we experience food with our five senses, influences the way we remember and recall the experience.
  3. How does the presentation of insect cuisine, as whole insects or abstracted in familiar foods, change the way people approach a new and novel dish?



Robert Nathan Allen, Executive Director, Little Herds

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Culture
  • Track 2 Climate Change
  • Level: Beginner

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