“You shall not eat, among all things that swarm upon the earth, anything that crawls on its belly, or anything that walks on fours, or anything that has many legs; for they are an abomination.” Leviticus 11:42 (The Israel Bible™)
After a two month delay, the European Union presented its Farm-to-Fork Biodiversity Strategy which includes a decidedly anti-Bible plan for developing bugs for human consumption.
“To reduce the environmental and climate impact of animal production, the Commission will facilitate the placing on the market of innovative feed additives that help reduce the carbon footprint, water and air pollution and methane emission of livestock farming” the draft reads.
The strategy establishes a multitude of goals including:
- a reduction by 50% of the use and risk of chemical pesticides and the use of more hazardous pesticides by 50% by 2030.
- a reduction of nutrient losses by at least 50% while ensuring that there is no deterioration in soil fertility. This will reduce the use of fertilisers by at least 20% by 2030.
- a reduction by 50% of the sales of antimicrobials for farmed animals and in aquaculture by 2030
- and reaching 25% of agricultural land under organic farming by 2030
- the aim for all rural areas to have access to fast broadband by 2025, to enable digital innovation.
Another plan called the Horizon Europe program will promote research to increase the availability and source of alternative proteins such as plant, microbial, marine and insect-based proteins, and meat substitutes. In 2011, the European Commission issued a request for reports on the current use of insects as food, with the promise that reports from each European Union member state would serve to inform legislative proposals for the new process for insect foods. The European Union is investing more than 4 million dollars to research insects as a human protein source.
Referred to as Entomophagy, the practice of eating insects by animals as well as humans may be disgusting to some but in many countries, this is still practiced. Human insect-eating is common to cultures in most parts of the world, including Central and South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Eighty percent of the world’s nations eat insects of 1,000 to 2,000 species. In some societies, primarily western nations, entomophagy is uncommon or taboo.
EURACTIV reported the story, interviewing Constantin Muraru from the international platform of insects for food and feed (IPIFF), an EU non-profit organization that represents the interests of the insect production sector.
“Currently, the EU is heavily reliant on the importation of feedstuffs, but the disruption in the past few months with the coronavirus outbreak has made it increasingly apparent that we must look to make our agriculture more self-sustainable,” he said.
“Insects can be produced locally and are a highly nutritious, protein-rich foodstuff that can be produced in high quantities in a small area.”
Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, emphasized that the Torah explicitly forbids eating bugs.
“It is by virtue of the mitzvah (Torah commandment) that we were redeemed from Egypt,” Rabbi Berger noted, quoting Leviticus.
For I Hashem am He who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God: you shall be holy, for I am holy.These are the instructions concerning animals, birds, all living creatures that move in water, and all creatures that swarm on earth,or distinguishing between the unclean and the clean, between the living things that may be eaten and the living things that may not be eaten. Leviticus 11:45-47
Rabbi Berger related a parable based on the Bible.
“Adam despaired when he was about to be banished from the Garden of Eden,” Rabbi Berger said. “He had a special status in the Garden since unlike the animals, he was forbidden from eating from the Tree of Knowledge. He was afraid that outside of the Garden, he would be just like all the animals. God despised the snake and therefore told him that he could eat anything, even the dust.”
“So when told Man that he was restricted in what he could eat, that he could only eat from the sweat of his brow, Adam was relieved since, through this restriction, God showed that he still loved Man especially. Animals do not have to cook their food, eat in the field, do not harvest. Man is special.”
“When the Jews left Egypt, God showed his special love for his people by restricting them to clean food. By promoting bugs for human consumption, the EU is showing its contempt for its own people.”