Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Short Stack, Side of Bacon, Hold the Locusts

As they say, "You learn something new every day."

Well, if Wikipedia is to be believed (and you believers know who you are), yesterday I expanded my knowledge of kashrut dietary law a little bit:
Most vegetables, particularly leafy vegetables (lettuce, cabbage, parsley, dill, etc.), must be thoroughly checked for insect infestation (see link below for video instruction on proper checking procedure from the OU). The consumption of insects involves between three and six violations of Torah law; so, according to Jewish Law, it is a greater sin than the consumption of pork.
Also:
While most insects are considered to be forbidden by Kosher dietary laws, four varieties of locust are nonetheless considered by some to be permissible.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled, unclean meal...

11 comments:

Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

I've had the fried grasshoppers in Oaxaca many times, so I hope they're close enough to locusts to not get me in trouble with great grandmother Matzenbacher. However, I'm pretty sure she wants me to stick to fakin' bacon. Of course, how would I know whether or not it tastes like bacon unless...

kusala ~ joe said...

Hey, Ladron: Chapulines are definitely on my lists of things to try, and the thought doesn't bother me much at all. If you know of any good Oaxacan eateries in SF, care to rendez-vous if I'm up there in mid-February?

TigerYogiji said...

I read something once that said that we ingest a surprising amounts of insects due to the manufacturing methods used in harvesting grains for food use...

kusala ~ joe said...

Tigeryogiji: I was just discussing that with a friend last night when this topic came up. Given the fact that grain is stored in those huge silos -- which are by no means hermetically sealed -- there are bound to be many insects ground up into flour and other grain products. Obviously, most of them are sorted out when we buy whole grains like rice or oats in this country, but there are USDA or FDA or some such agencies that actually regulate the number of "acceptable" bug parts in pastas and the like. I guess you either get over it, or you become a Jain.

Salty Miss Jill said...

mmmmmm...locusts...bacon-wrapped locusts...drool...

Huntington said...

Plus the insects one ingests when driving one's mother car with the top down on the way to Guerneville.

sageweb said...

Found You through JMG.
So I am not Kosher when I ride my bike to work and get bugs stuck in my teeth??

Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

If you're here before Feb. 20th, I'd be pleased go on Chapulines quest with you. After that I'm in Ecuador. (Need to satiate my cuy needs.) However, if you're in my neighborhood, I will have to insist on getting a photo of you in front of the cannibalistic pork shop.

copperred said...

The luxury of abstaining from certain foods seems to be exclusive to people in warm climates. Think of all the things you can do with whale blubber.

All these rules seem to be intend on keeping lots of people in the kitchen for hours. Perhaps this is how OCD became a trait that was useful to pass on.

m00nchild said...

Would the "between three and six" include fractional violations. I'm sure there's something about that in the Talmud. Somewhere. Maybe Rabbi Zohar discussed it. Somewhere.

Mike said...

Another reason to feel less guilty about not eating vegetables.
Thank you.