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Approaching insect death: understandings and practices of the UK's edible insect farmers

Bear, Christopher 2019. Approaching insect death: understandings and practices of the UK's edible insect farmers. Society and Animals 27 (7) , pp. 751-768. 10.1163/15685306-00001871
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Abstract

While insects are eaten by around two billion people globally, they are a relatively new addition to the UK’s culinary landscape. A domestic production sector has begun to emerge to supply this new appetite for insects. Social scientists have been quick to explore consumer attitudes to “edible insects” but insect farmers have thus far been largely ignored. This paper addresses this gap by drawing on interviews with the UK’s current and recent edible insect farmers to explore their understandings of, and approaches to, insect death, something about which all participants expressed concern. The paper examines: 1) reasons for farmers’ concerns around how they kill their insects, ranging from anxieties around insect pain to perceived consumer attitudes; and 2) farmers’ ideas about what constitutes a “good” death for insects, and how they incorporate this in their practices.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers
ISSN: 1063-1119
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 July 2019
Date of Acceptance: 27 June 2019
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2020 16:33
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/124134

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