United Nations urges hungry world to eat bugs

Updated: May 14, 2013, 12:30 PM IST

London: The United Nations has issued an official advice suggesting that insects can help combat food-insecurity worldwide, as they are a virtually "untapped" source of food for people.

Insects are consumed regularly by about 2 billion people around the world, as part of their diets. Insects high fat, protein and mineral content make them a nutritious alternative to meat, fish and other common dietary staples, the Independent reported.

The UN`s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said that over 1,900 species of insect can be consumed by humans - most popular among them being beetles, caterpillars, bees, wasps and ants.

They could also be a particularly important food source for undernourished kids because most of them contain high levels of fatty acids.

FAO said that insects emit fewer greenhouse gases and need less land or water than cattle when they are farmed.