Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bugs in the Barley!

I was enjoying a daydream yesterday when, I remembered a teshuva about worms and aged cheese. The ruling was that any worms that had hatched *on* the cheese were both kosher and milchig. The reason given, IIRC, was that the worms never touched anything but cheese, (thought at the time I thought the author of the teshuva may have been under the misaprehension that the worms had generated spontaneously from the cheese.)

Also, the fact that the worms were both kosher and milchig, was given as the reason for waiting 6 hours after eating aged cheese. Its because along with the cheese, you'd presumably eat "meat" ie: the worms.

I bring this up because yesterday a friend [*] sent me some shocking news: Barley in now treif

This new teaching is suggested in the CrC's latest Kashrus alert:
It has come to our attention that packages of barley, such as those used for soup or cholent, may contain larva, insects or even live worms! This problem is not isolated to any specific brand or store. It is strongly suggested that each package of barley, or other similar grains, be inspected prior to use.G'Mar Tov! Please Post.
Live worms! In the barley! Oh My!

Our sainted ancestors had it much worse of course. Our food is cleaner than food has ever been in all of human history. The ancestors didn't have pesticides or sealed containers. They didn't have screens and their houses were full of cracks. In short, there once were bugs in everything, and by the truckload.

So what did the sainted ancestors do? Did they close their eyes and pretend the bugs weren't there? Did they behave like 21st century Americans and subject everything to thorough and time-consuming examinations?

Or did they invent eleborate justifications like the teshuva cited above?

[*] He's someone known to the jewish blogging community. If he gives me permission, I'll share his name.

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