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Decision-makers Swiss politicians try out insect buffet

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After-work cocktail parties are common at parliament in Bern, but politicians have attended a buffet with a difference. Instead of salmon canapés and bread sticks, they were served mealworm hamburgers and grasshopper mousse. (SRF/RTS/swissinfo.ch)

It was part of a campaign to legalise the breeding of insects for human consumption, led by the Vaud based organisation, Grimiam.

The idea has the backing of the United Nations. In 2013, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization issued a 200-page report assessing insects’ uses as food for humans and livestock. The report reads: "It is widely accepted that by 2030 the world will host nine billion people. To accommodate this number, current food production will need to almost double.”

The UN believes bugs should be exploited as a major future food source. Although many may react to the idea with disgust, insects make up a part of the traditional diets of about a billion people, the report estimates.

Over 1,000 species of insects are known to be eaten in 80% of the world's nations. Studies show that insects contain significantly less saturated fats than edible animal meat. They also contain comparatively more protein than meat when it comes to size.