Locusts Go Biblical — But Are They Kosher?

This piece was first published on the Forward Thinking blog at the Forward.

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If it were a movie, Israel’s real-life nightmare would be a cross between “The Birds” and “The Ten Commandments.”

Just in time for Passover, the Holy Land has been plagued by millions of locusts swarming in from across the Egyptian border.

Hysterical news reports warned Israelis in the southern part of the country to stay inside and close all doors and windows to protect against the Biblical calamity, said to be the worst to descend upon the Holy Land in decades.

But at the same time, some were searching out the pests in hopes of hauling in a tasty — and arguably kosher! — treat.

The skies across southern Israel were blackened this week by the flying insects. Some fields were damaged before the Agriculture Ministry was able to send out crop-dusters to battle the tiny beasts. Fortunately, the pesticide application to 1,865 acres that began early Wednesday morning and extended throughout the day managed to prevent the locusts from doing more damage and moving on to the country’s central regions. Also, a cold front is expected to come in and knock out any remaining swarms.

“It’s like an insect cemetery down here,” Omri Eytana, a farmer from Moshav Kmehin the Nitzana area, told Army Radio as he inspected his fields after the crop-dusting was over. He reported that his tomato plants, which were protected by nets were in good shape, but that there was extensive damage to potato crops.

Click here to read more and view a slideshow.

© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

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