March 21st saw another (quite timely, given the Pessah holiday) BBC report on the subject of the swarms of locusts which recently arrived in Israel appearing in the Magazine section of the BBC News website. Much longer than the previous BBC report on the subject, this one was written by Cordelia Hebblethwaite of the BBC and PRI and is on the whole a balanced piece.
However, one particular sentence promotes a decidedly bizarre notion:
“Call it revenge, or just a practical killing of two birds with one stone – whatever the motivation, many Israelis have decided to cook them up, and eat them.” [emphasis added]
The claim that “many Israelis” are now munching on locusts is clearly a rather wild exaggeration, and plainly neither is nibbling on locust snacks a “practical killing of two birds with one stone” method of pest control. But the suggestion that the motivation for eating locusts might be “revenge” rather than ordinary common or garden curiosity is obviously an inaccurate product of the writer’s over-active imagination alone – perhaps coupled with an attempt to be witty.
One wonders though how often a BBC writer has used the term “revenge” in connection with the eating of foods he or she finds unconventional in other countries?