More Surprising Information About People Eating Cicadas

To Eat Or Not To Eat

I have to admit, I am shocked to be sending out another ‘read’ about humans eating cicadas.  
At first, I thought reports of human consumption of cicadas were a joke.  But now…I am not so sure.  

Today I was emailed several “advisory opinions” written by prominent Rabbis informing me that cicadas are not kosher, were never kosher, and should not be eaten by Observant Jews.  

While I am glad to learn that Orthodox Rabbis are not encouraging the ingestion of cicadas, I am still shocked that this was a “thing” that needed to be addressed.  

That means eating cicadas is really a “thing.”  It is a thing I don’t endorse or recommend, and believe is crazy.  

Why Would Anyone Eat A Cicada?

“They have a buttery texture, a delicious, nutty flavor, probably from the tannins, from the roots of the trees on which they fed,” AP quoted University of Maryland entomologist Mike Raupp as saying. “And they’re going to be really good with a Merlot.”

However, according to a prominent Rabbi

“No Jew should be eating cicadas,” said Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, of Ohev Sholom — the Nation’s Synagogue. “If you put it in your cholent pot, your cholent pot is treif.”

In case you don’t speak Orthodox Rabbi, “treif” means “not kosher.”

However, other insects are kosher (much to my surprise).  

According to Rabbi Ari Zivotofsky, a neuroscience professor at Bar Ilan University who explores exotic kosher food on the side, locusts are kosher, but cicadas are not.

“You’re not going to find anybody who says that cicadas are kosher,” he says. “There are kosher insects, but they’re all species of grasshoppers and locusts. There are no kosher cicadas.”

Zivotofsky said that before World War II, the tradition of eating locusts was confined to Jews in Yemen, where the insect was more prevalent. The custom has since expanded, including to the Zivotovsky home.

“I find it gross, but I let my kids eat locusts,” he said.

So, there you have it.  

Locusts are kosher but cicadas are not.  

My recommendation is not to eat either!!!

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Mark Sunshine

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