A policy paper on the eating of insects is being formally considered by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Professor Arnold van Huis, an entomologist at Wageningen University in Belgium and the author of the UN paper, says eating insects has advantages.

"There is a meat crisis. The world population will grow from 6 billion now to 9 billion by 2050 and we know people are consuming more meat. Twenty years ago, the average was 20kg, it is now 50kg and will be 80kg in 20 years. If we continue like this we will need another Earth."

The raising of livestock such as cows, pigs and sheep occupies two-thirds of the world's farmland and generates 20 per cent of the greenhouse gases causing global warming.

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