Frog legs rolled in worm flour will be in the running for the next culinary delight in European haute cuisine after the European Union gave its blessing for the first time for an insect food.
Dried yellow mealworm can now be sold across the 27-nation bloc after a Monday decision from EU governments and a food safety assessment, the European Commission said on Tuesday.
EU officials suggest it could be used as a protein boost for cookies, pasta or baked goods, as they try to reassure fussy eaters that millions of people around the world already eat insects. It's also a more environmentally friendly alternative to rearing cattle and other larger sources of protein. The market for edible insects is set to reach $4.6 billion by 2027, according to one report earlier this year.
Some 11 other insect foods are waiting for food safety evaluations from the EU.
"It is up to consumers to decide whether they want to eat insects or not," the EU said on its web page. "The use of insects as an alternate source of protein is not new."