People are being urged to add insects to their diet in order to help save the planet and increase food supply around the world.
UK food waste company BusinessWaste has said it is "time to switch from beefsteak to crunchy crickets" because it is “better for the environment and can help to solve the global food crisis.”
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, the Vice President of the Tree Council of Ireland Éanna Ní Lamhna said insects are already a staple part of the diet in some parts of the world.
“Beetles and insects are eaten in Asia, they are eaten in Africa, they are eaten in Central and Southern America. Already people eat insects there all the time,” she said.
She said people could be convinced to eat insects if they were presented in an appetising way.
“I wouldn’t pick up a spider of the floor and eat it any more than I would pick up a cow and take a bite out of his leg,” she said.
“I mean that is not how you eat your food. Food is presented to you cooked and on your plate.
“A lot of these insects are made into cricket flour or grasshopper roasts, things like that.”
She said insects are a great source of protein.
“As you know, there is a protein, fat and carbohydrate and protein is the one that makes our bodies grow,” she said.
“Some 70% of people in some parts of the world do not get enough protein, do not get enough food to eat. Even though we can produce enough food on this earth for people, it is not done properly and people are hungry.”
She said the environmental issues posed by agriculture will only increase as time goes on.
“The population is only getting greater,” she said. “It takes much less water to produce the same amount of protein from insects as it does from cattle.
“There are much less carbon dioxide emissions from an insect farm than from a cattle farm.”
She said people view the idea as disgusting because they have been “brainwashed” by tradition.
“People decide they don’t like something before they ever put it in their mouths," she said.
“It is a matter of being brainwashed. People in France eat horses. Irish people would be horrified at that.
“People in England eat tongue and people in Italy eat donkey sausages made from donkey meat and we are horrified at this.
“So, it is all a matter of perspective.”
You can listen back here: