Abstract Previous research has demonstrated that individuals' beliefs about the disgusting properties of foods play a central role in predicting willingness to eat novel foods of either animal or nonanimal origin (Martins & Pliner, in press). The present study aimed to identify what characteristics of foods make individuals perceive them as disgusting. In this study, participants read a set of scenarios designed to depict potentially disgusting foods; participants in Sample 1 rated the perceived disgustingness of the foods while participants in Sample 2 rated the foods on a variety of attributes relevant to theoretical conceptions of disgust. Multidimensional scaling revealed two dimensions, aversive textural properties of the foods and reminders of livingness/animalness, that accounted for most of the variability in ratings of perceived disgustingness of the foods depicted in the scenarios. Implications for our current conceptualization of disgust are examined.