One of my co-workers brought a box of chocolate-covered grasshoppers to the office. Many people tried them, but since I keep kosher I begged off, saying that I was grossed out. Did I do the right thing?
The Aish Rabbi Replies:
You did the right thing not to eat the grasshoppers, because they most likely weren’t kosher.
Many are surprised to discover that four species of grasshoppers are kosher (Leviticus 11:22). However, all other insects are not kosher.
One might think that this has little practical application to our modern eating habits. But in truth, many leafy vegetables (lettuce, broccoli) often contain insects and must be carefully examined before they can be eaten.
Some fruits like raspberries and strawberries are also problematic. Rabbis have developed specific methods to properly check these fruits and vegetables for insects. For details, see www.kosherquest.org/book.php?id=INSECTS_IN_FOOD.htm
One more point I’d like to add: The commentators say that when we are offered a non-kosher food, rather than decline by saying that we are “grossed out,” it’s actually better to say: “I’d really like that, but since I keep kosher I don’t eat that.” In this way, we communicate the ideals of holiness that the Torah instills, and this can serve as an inspiration to others.