Lifestyle & Belief

Locusts are kosher


An Israeli man runs through a swarm of locusts arriving over the Negev desert near the Egyptian border on March 6, 2013 in Kmehin, Israel.


Uriel Sinai

A swarm of locusts recently descended on Egypt and has now made its way to the Israeli border. The clouds of locusts darkened the skies, just three weeks before the Jewish holiday of Passover is scheduled to take place. The locusts covered nearly 2,000 acres of desert overnight,  the Guardian reported, and the Ministry of Agriculture is fighting them off with pesticide spray. 

But while many are worried that the locusts could cause major crop devastation, others are turning lemons into lemonade--or, more accurately, locusts into locus meat. It turns out that some locusts are kosher. On television this morning, Jerusalem chef Moshe Basson went on a local morning talk show to serve the hosts a dish,  Haaretz reported

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His dish was made of, you guessed it, locusts.  Basson is in fact a chef known for preparing food native to the area, and two years ago he served fried locusts at a party at his restaurant, Haaretz said. 

Rabbis approve. “Not only does the Torah permit man to eat certain mammals, birds and fish, but it even permits him to eat certain insects — namely several types of locusts,” Rabbi Natan Slifkin  wrote in The Times of Israel.

Prior to the pesticide spraying, some Yemenite Israelis gathered sackfuls of the locusts. One locust gatherer told  Israel National News that when toasted, locusts taste like a fast food snack.