By Garry White 01 May 2011
Serge Verniau, the Laos representative to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) wants the world to ditch steaks and burgers - and eat insects instead.
"Most of the world's population will live in urban areas. Trying to feed the whole planet enough protein from cows won't work," Mr Verniau said last week.
Insects are eaten from the wild in Laos, but are not farmed on a large scale. He wants to increase research into the field and host a conference on edible insects in 2012.
Insect farming is also environmentally safer – with a recent study by FoodServiceWarehouse.com suggesting that swapping pork and beef for crickets and locusts could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 95pc.
As well as emitting fewer gases insects also have twice the protein of meat and fish, whilst being rich in unsaturated fat.
Mr Verniau's research continues: "You can make powder from crickets that is very rich in protein. It's low in fat and it can be added to biscuits in problem areas where food rations are distributed."