From faeces to furry arachnids, it seems Aussies will eat anything … but it doesn’t always stay down. Research shows how adventurous foodies can be, however, often with disastrous results.
The study, conducted by research agency Kantar TNS on behalf of Southern Cross Travel Insurance, surveyed more than 1000 Australians earlier this year. It revealed that, although Australian travellers aren’t shy of the odd ‘odd’ meal, around 27 per cent of the respondents said they had had a bad food experience on holiday.
It’s little wonder, with things such as pigeon, raw octopus, scorpion, fugu (Japanese pufferfish), fertilised eggs, grasshoppers and spiders being consumed.
And finishing off a meal with black ivory coffee, which is collected from elephant poo, or snake wine and you have a recipe (pun intended) for a sore tummy.
And they’re not only eating unusual food, but they’re eating it in some pretty strange places. While most sampled freaky food from street vendors (73 per cent), many have ticked off bucket-list experiences such as floating restaurants, high-altitude dining, treetop eateries and underwater restaurants. Some have even eaten in the dark, which may explain some of the fare they’ve consumed.
But this sense of adventure comes at a cost. Many of those surveyed said they had gastro, food poisoning, bacterial infections and other bad experiences that required medical assistance. In fact, 7 per cent of the participants had to be hospitalised because of dodgy food.
These food failures have cost 61 per cent of these travellers up to $5000, with two per cent paying out $200,000 for their bad food experience.
Over one in 10 who had a bad food experience said it ruined the whole holiday, with 16 per cent saying they’d never experiment with strange food again.
But hey, you can’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it!
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve eaten? Have you had a bad food experience? Did your travel insurance cover you for it?