Monday, May 13, 2013

Insect Gross-Outs Update

Karen Bracken shares the link directly to the U.N.F.A.O. report on "standards" to allow insects to be marketed as food. They're serious:

Here's what Liz Klimas and readers were chortling about, earlier this week:

Silkworms have to be boiled alive in their cocoons to separate the silk threads so they can be spun, so why not eat the pupal moths? (Liz Klimas and her source misidentified the creatures as larvae; eating the larvae, before they've spun their silk, would be counterproductive.)

Great idea if you're a chicken. If you're human, not so great. Insects, except for four species (now unidentifiable) "in the locust family," aren't kosher, and there are Christians, like this one, who believe that there's a good medical reason to avoid meat that can't be made kosher.

Are there insects that might have been added to the safe-to-eat list if the ancient Hebrews had known about them? Those mopane caterpillars that Africans traditionally ate only in the dry season when they were really hungry, but that have become a tourist attraction? Witchetty grubs in Australia? I don't know, and I don't want to find out.

Personally, I don't eat arthropods. Period. But if you eat shrimp and lobster (which aren't kosher either), I'm not sure what reason you would have not to eat smaller things that are built on the same general plan as shrimp and lobster.