Re: Grasshoppers

Aber or Levine (saber@mail.iol.co.il)
Thu, 30 Jan 1997 14:41:50 +0200

In regard to the kashrut and eating of grasshoppers, I decided to share the
results of my research on the topic.

I spoke to my Temani (Yemenite) neighbor and this is his story.
He came on aliyah about 50 years ago. He remembers eating grasshoppers as a
child in Israel. He would go out to the wheat fields and collect them and
bring them home to be fried by his mother and eaten with gusto by the
family. He feels that the reason his community stopped eating grasshoppers
was the result of farmers spraying the wheat and therefore killing the
kosher variety of grasshoppers which lives on the wheat. He does not
remember more than one type of grasshopper that was kosher, namely, the one
that lives on wheat plants. As a result of the success of modern farmers in
killing the kosher grasshoppers which they view as a serious pest and threat
to the wheat crop, it no longer paid to go out in the fields looking for
grasshoppers. He suggested that it may be possible to find kosher
grasshoppers in areas of the world where farmers to not spray the crops.
I would guess that even organic farmers (who are plentiful in Israel) have
solved the problem in more environmentally friendly ways. The end result
would be the same, however, there still should be no kosher grasshoppers on
the wheat crop.

I was fascinated by his story and thank whoever send in the original letter
in this thread for giving me the idea of asking about kosher grasshoppers in
Jewish history.