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03/08/2013

Israelis chow down on locusts after plague crosses over from Egypt

Locusts

A swarm of locusts arrives over the Negev desert near the Egyptian border on Wednesday in Kmehin, Israel. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

On Monday, a swarm of locusts spread into Israel from Egypt. Coming as it did just before Passover, reactions ran from amused to irritated.

Now Haaretz, Israel's oldest daily newspaper, reports that local chefs are bringing another attitude to the plague entirely: opportunism.

Locusts2Moshe Basson is the chef of the popular Jerusalem restaurant Eucalyptus. He is also a food historian specializing in Biblical food traditions, and an expert on wild edibles native to the Holy Land.

So naturally, Basson has appeared on TV serving locusts with dipping sauce, according to Haaretz.

Many types of insects are perfectly edible, and many cultures consume them; silkworms and crickets are both popular in various parts of the world. 

In fact, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has programs attempting to boost the farming and production of edible insects.

Not everyone is on board, however. Some Israeli rabbis are warning that insects are not in fact kosher, and should not be consumed.

Whether that is really going to be a huge problem remains to be seen.

Kate Allen is the Star's science and technology reporter. Find her on Twitter at @katecallen.

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