other invertebrates, reptiles, and
With four exceptions, all insects and other
invertebrates (including those usually
consumed as seafood), all reptiles, and all
amphibians are considered 'loathsome',
'crawling' creatures, and are forbidden as
There are some
kosher insects that are types of grasshopper
or locust. Ashkenazi and most Sepharadi
groups have lost the tradition of which
exact species are kosher, but Yemenites and
some Sepharadi groups have maintained this
tradition and can properly identify them
(though to most people the prospect of
eating insects is not appealing, rendering
this a largely academic point).
article from the Union of Orthodox
Synagogues of South Africa regarding the way
to clean certain vegetables and fruit from
CHECKING OF FRUIT & VEGETABLES
1. Eating Sh’ratzim (non-Kosher creatures)
is worse than eating pork!
2. Even creatures that are so small that
only a searching eye can detect them are
prohibited. If the reason they are not seen
is not because they are too small but
because they are too elusive, they are
obviously forbidden. A concealed creature is
still a creature!
3. However, anything that is microscopic is
of no concern.
4. There is therefore no obligation to use a
magnifying glass to check.
5. Not all foods need to be checked for
infestation. Where the occurrence is
classified as rare, there is no need to
check. Examples: apples, pears, bananas,
tomatoes, carrots, and potatoes.
6. But where the occurrence is classified as
frequent we must check. This includes most
leafy vegetables and many fruits.
7. If it's impossible to check properly, we
may not eat such items. Example: corn on the
8. It's often difficult to find all
infestation. This can be for several
are often very small.
could often be mistaken to be dirt.
insects have a similar color to the
- Many of
them hide between crevices.
9. In some
cases, very small worms tunnel into leafy
vegetables and can only be noticed by a
trail of tunnels.
10. A Jew over
the age of Bar / Bat Mitzvah may be relied
on to check for infestation if they:
what to look for; and
- know how
non-Jew may not be relied on even if he's