ACDC News – Issue 20-03

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What young consumers think about insects as food

We recently added to the ACDC collection a research article exploring the perceptions of millennials about eating insects. Published in the International Journal on Food System Dynamics, it examined willingness of young Italian consumers to buy a variety of snacks containing insect-based ingredients.  Among the results of this contingent rating experiment:

  • On average, all of the respondents reacted more positively to snacks made of insect flour than of whole insects.
  • The effect of adding a cacao flavor, on average, was not statistically significant.
  • A claim of high protein content seemed “not particularly appealing.”
  • Environmental certification of the products appeared not important.
  • Sixty-four percent of the time, respondents said they were willing to buy the products for a reasonable price.

You can read the article, “Insects or not insects?” here.

Communications lessons from a Brazilian meat scandal

A 2019 article in the International Journal on Food System Dynamics offered insights and guidelines for communicating when things go wrong. In their article, “Corporate communication actions in response to crises” researchers tracked the results of a scandal that broke out during early 2017 in the Brazilian meat industry.  A federal police operation revealed corruption acts involving selling meat that was beyond its “sell by” date and adding carcinogenic chemical additives to alter the product’s appearance.

This analysis focused on communications strategies used online by two firms involved in the crisis. Researchers monitored websites, YouTube posts, and Facebook pages during 30 days after the scandal went public.  Findings prompted an observation that the corporate strategy adopted by both firms “failed to satisfy each individual stakeholder’s claim, opting to adopt neutral speech to avoid future litigations.” Stakeholders recognized in this study involved consumers, international buyers, the media, and the government.

You can read the article here.

The geography of social media use in America

We have added to the ACDC collection a 2012 spatial analysis of social media use in all counties throughout the U.S. It was published in a 2019 issue of the International Journal of Geo-Information, featuring metropolitan, micropolitan, and rural sub-samples. Researchers found, for example:

  • The major determinants of use were demographic factors, service occupations, ethnicities, and urban location
  • Facebook users were highly concentrated in the Northeast coastal region, southern California and Colorado, Utah, and adjacent Rocky Mountain states
  • Twitter users were more heavily concentrated in southern California, the Northeast coastal region, and lower-central South.
  • Social media usage was lowest in the Great Plains, lower Midwest, and South, with the exceptions of Florida and major southern cities.

Authors offered priorities and policy suggestions for counties in addressing issues related to digital divide.  You can read the article here.

Why people attend festivals: a case report from South Africa

Analysis of motives for attending a strawberry festival offered unusually-detailed insights from a research report in the African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure. We added it recently to the ACDC collection.

This 2017 article by researcher Takalani Ramukumba of Nelson Mandela University featured evaluation of festival activities as motives to attend the Strawberry Festival in George, South Africa. It focused on specific festival activities that were used in the promotional and advertising material for the festival – “breaking the mould of analyzing festival attendance motives as previously employed by many studies.”

You can read the article here.

“Gendered constraints for adopting climate-smart agriculture”

The list of constraints is long in this 2020 Scientific African article, which focused on smallholder Ethiopian women farmers. Research findings showed that uptake by women farmers was affected by limited access to credit, extension, restricted membership in cooperatives and water user associations, user rights to land, skill training, information, and restricted mobility.

Researchers concluded, “Expanding off-farm diversification and rural employment opportunities through changing the land tenure system, which is currently state-owned, are essential to enhance women stakeholders’ access to land and other agricultural inputs.”

You can read the article by open access here.

Reminder: Welcoming your feedback and ideas

We invite you to participate in our listening survey to help us serve your interests. Participating includes answering 10 questions that will take about 10 minutes. The ACDC Coordinator will review, synthesize and keep your responses confidential. If you have any questions about the research study, please contact Janis Shearer at If you have questions or concerns about your rights as a participant please contact the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Office for the Protection of Research Subjects at 217-333-2670 or via email at

Thank you for your help. Please click here for the survey

Communicator events approaching

April 15-17, 2020
“Charting the course.” Conference of the National Agri-Marketing Association in San Diego, California.


April 23-24, 2020
100th anniversary reception celebration and spring regional workshop of AAEA – The Agricultural Communicators Network in Chicago, Illinois.


May 21-25, 2020
“Open communication.” 70th annual conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) at Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.


June 1-3, 2020
“Spice up your creativity.” 2020 CCA Institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association in Buffalo, New York.


June 22-25, 2020
“Be inspired Chicago!” Annual conference of the Association for Communication Excellence (ACE), Hyatt Regency O’Hare, Chicago, Illinois.


June 23-25, 2020
Annual conference of the Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) in Roanoke, Virginia.


June 24-28, 2020
Conference of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors at the University of Nevada, Reno. Nevada.


June 24-29, 2020
“Farming today for the society of the future.” Annual Congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) in Bredsten, Denmark.  Hosted by the Danish Food and Agricultural Journalists.


July 25-29, 2020
“Ag Media Summit 2020.”  AMS is an industry-wide gathering of agricultural media and communications professionals in Kansas City, Missouri. It joins together AAEA – The Agricultural Communicators Network, Livestock Publications Council, and Connectiv Agri-Media Committee.


“Climate emergency” – Oxford Word of the Year 2019

We close this issue of ACDC News noting rapid rise in use of the term “climate emergency,” as revealed in the language data collected by Oxford Languages. Use of it increased steeply during 2019, more than 100 times more commonly than during the previous year. From relative obscurity, it became “one of the most prominent – and prominently debated – terms of 2019.”

Oxford defines “climate emergency” as a situation in which urgent action is required to reduce or halt climate change and avoid potentially irreversible environmental damage resulting from it.

Best wishes – and good searching

ACDC is a resource for you, so please feel free to invite our help as you search for information. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @ACDCUIUC. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communications documents we might add to this unique and valuable international collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag. Comm. Documentation Center, Room 510, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) or in electronic format sent to

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