Supplementary materials to Journal of Insects as Food and Feed manuscript JIFF2022.0143: Entomophagy in western Kenya: consumption patterns and the role of psychological and socio-cultural factors
Owing to its potential as an alternative source of protein, entomophagy (insect eating) has received substantial attention from researchers and development actors. However, despite its relatively high acceptance in some regions, such as western Kenya, there is a limited understanding of the factors that drive entomophagy. Therefore, we conducted a study in western Kenya in Bungoma and Trans-Nzoia counties utilising data from a random sample of 442 households to analyse consumption patterns and determinants of insect-eating behaviour. The analysis used the extended theory of planned behaviour and structural equation modelling to determine entomophagy. Termites, grasshoppers, locusts, dung beetles, crickets, and black ants are examples of insects eaten by these communities. Termites are the most known and consumed insect among households. Most households prefer to eat the insects as a whole and not processed. Results indicate that attitude (ATT), perceived behavioural control (PBC), social norms and objective knowledge (OK) positively and significantly influence households’ intention to eat insects, whereas environmental concerns and perceived barriers (neophobia) have no significant effect. In the model where we include objective knowledge and environmental concern, the effects of ATT and PBC are lower. PBC reduces the effect of ATT on behavioural intention while directly negatively affecting entomophagy. Intention to eat is positively associated with insect-eating behaviour. In addition to these psychological factors, we found that culture significantly explains entomophagy. Once we condition on psychological factors, socioeconomic factors do not have any influence on entomophagy. ATT and OK about insects and culture significantly predict preference for termites over beef – suggesting the positive role of nutrition information. These results show the importance of psychological variables and culture in influencing entomophagy.