Insects as Food in Laos and Thailand

A Case of “Westernisation”?

In: Asian Journal of Social Science
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  • 1 Germany

Abstract

Laos and Thailand show a decline of their diverse insect-eating traditions. Despite an urban “entomophagy” revival, respective rural practices are disappearing. In the context of a growing global interest in insects as food, this trend is being problematised as “Westernisation,” supposedly leading to food culture homogenisation. In this paper, I criticise that narrative as being over-simplified and eurocentric. In reporting qualitative empirical data, I argue that the current decline of insect-eating is rooted in local forms of “modernity,” rather than Western-dominated globalisation. In interpreting undeniable homogenisation tendencies, I also highlight the relevance of economically-driven processes, concluding that food culture transformation cannot be explained by one aspect or theory alone.

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