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SF Health Department Bans Sale of Grasshopper Tacos

First Cicadas Are Out, Now Grasshoppers

After a Missouri ice cream shop was banned from selling cicada ice cream to customers, San Francisco's health department has followed suit by telling one restaurant that it can no longer sell chapulines or grasshopper tacos, citing the fact that the purveyor isn't USDA approved.

Although purportedly no one has gotten sick in the two-and-a-half years that the item's been offered on his menu, "the city is worried people will get sick," La Oaxaquena owner Harry Persaud told the San Francisco Chronicle. In Persaud's native Oaxaca, grasshoppers are par for the food course; here in the US, there isn't a single domestic grasshopper purveyor with federal approval.

While there are agricultural health and safety issues at hand, food bans like this open the floodgates to prohibit other cultural delicacies (turtle, pigeon, and snails, anyone?), something that I worry may undermine our country's vast array of ethnic food options. Do you believe this will set a precedent for other food bans?

Source: Flickr User william.neuheisel

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