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Can grinding produce nullify the insect?

As noted above, in many cases, if there are over sixty parts of kosher to one part unkosher―the food is permissible. This, however, does not apply to an insect, because the insect is a biryah. (A biryah is something which is or had been alive; and something that is whole.)

Even if there are more than sixty parts of food to one part insect―the food may not be eaten.

What if the insect is not whole? What if it is ground? Would, then, the food substance which contains the insect―be permissible?

Yes, it would be.

However, the grinding may not be done with the intent to nullify the insects. In other words, one cannot purposely grind the food with the intent to make the food kosher to eat. This is prohibited, under the rule, en mevatelin issur lechatehillah―it is prohibited to purposely nullify something that is prohibited. This would be similar to intentionally adding one part milk to sixty one parts of meat. One may not do this intentionally.

If, however, a vegetable was purchased having been already ground, and the firm that marketed it did not grind it for the purpose of nullifying the insects that are upon it―the food may be purchased and eaten21. This is the status of many products, such as jellies (as long as they do not have chunks of the fruit intact) and fresh spices.

Grinding may play a role in another scenario as well. If a substance is in the category of “sometimes infested,” it may not be eaten without being checked or cleaned. If, however, one does a light check and finds no infestation, and then, as a precaution, grinds the item―it may be eaten 22.

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Category: Procedures Used in Cleaning and Checking Vegetables and Fruits

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