No More Grasshoppers at La Oaxaqueña

Chapulines_Mexico.jpg
La Chiquita/Flickr
Chapulines, or grasshoppers, in Mexico.
KGO TV reported yesterday that the San Francisco Department of Health has banned La Oaxaqueña Bakery & Restaurant (2128 Mission), one of the only Oaxacan restaurants in the city, from selling chapulines, or dried grasshoppers. While the judgment came down two months ago, the media was slow to discover the shocking! news!

Owner Harry Persaud told KGO that since he does not import the dried grasshoppers from an FDA-approved vendor in Mexico, he's not allowed to sell them to the public. The solution, say the authorities? Find a domestic source. Thankfully, Persaud is allowed to continue bringing in other Oaxacan products such as mole pastes and chocolate, an SFoodie favorite.

This is not the first time health authorities in California have raised concerns about Oaxacan chapulines. In 2007 an outbreak of lead poisoning in Monterey County was traced to the dried insects, a popular street food usually coated in chile, salt, and lime.

A grasshopper fan? Not to fear. SFoodie has snacked on toasty, crunchy chapulines in Oaxacan restaurants up and down the Pacific coast. In fact, you can drive down to San Jose, where Mexcal and El Tule still list them on the menu. At least until ABC-watching health inspectors down there start making their rounds.

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5 comments
njudah
njudah

weak! people eat them in LA and no one is dead...

Jim Schmidt
Jim Schmidt

Look up lead poisoning, one of the symptoms is a decline in mental function. Have you been consuming a lot of them?

Azu_car_7
Azu_car_7

 i've eaten those animals since i was really little! YES! i am mexican.... PROUDLY ZAPOTEC!! speak it, practice, live in it! and i have never had a decline mentak function! people should stop being so ethnocentric about things like this.. culture should be respected and who ever wants to try it, its a personal choice and put themselves in the postition of trying new things! GET IT RIGHT PEOPLE!!!  not because some body's system couldnt handle this food means its bad for everyone!! 

this is what im trying to explain: There is no behavior that could be considered immoral if the people who practice it consider accptable of it functions for the well-being of the society. 

Gabriela Velasco
Gabriela Velasco

Yeah, me too. I'm not from Oaxaca, but my mom is, and we eat tons of them everytime we can. I cannot coment on the lead thing, because I've never analised the grasshoppers I've eaten hahaha!! But I've never gotten sick from eating them.  Even though sometimes they didn't seem to come from very higyienic sources, as I've found other critters mixed with the chapulines hahaha!! but I feel sorry for those who won't be able to eat them anymore.  Pretty much all Mexican dishes, and specially the whole variety of insects eaten along the entire country are amongst the most delicious in the world.  And I'm not saying this because I'm mexican, but heard it many times as well from friends from Italy, Thailand, France, Argentina etc. etc...

Too bad the US food authorities don't seem to understand that.

njudah
njudah

I hear there's a lot of lead in troll commenter's keyboards. Might wanna check on that lol.

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