please, won't someone think of the micro-crabs?

A glassful of cold New York City tap water not kosher?

The problem: tiny creatures called copepods, which are crustaceans. Stores in heavily orthodox Brooklyn reported a run on water filters and rabbis considered whether additional measures were necessary.

Rabbi Abraham Zimmerman, of the Orthodox Satmar sect, said the recent discovery of the copepods was a small hardship, but he called on the city to help in making its water kosher. But the Department of Environmental Protection, which runs the reservoirs, said that the copepods are impossible to do away with and that they deliver health benefits to the reservoir.

My heartfelt schadenfreude extends not only to our religious fundamentalist brethren, but also to all the vegans in New York. Oh, the humanity crustacianity!


24 Responses:

  1. devpreed says:

    Gives whole new meaning to the phrase "I brought back some great crabs from New York..."

    • jabberwokky says:

      I can't think of a reasonably "clean" reason to use that phrase. New York is not known for its seafood; the phrase is pretty much limited to parasites or other vermin of one form or another.

      OTOH, maybe this is the reason for the famed New York pizzas and bagels. The residents always attribute the quality of both to the water...

  2. brokengoose says:

    Asking for lemon with your water isn't weird, but I wonder if they'll look at me funny when I ask for a glass of water with lemon and butter sauce.

  3. beowabbit says:

    Awwww, they're cute! Uh, or not.

  4. ronbar says:

    Especially since they stopped using chlorine gas for preserving tap water (because of the terrah threat related to 30 cars of clearly-marked compressed mustard gas sitting on railway sidings for weeks at a time) and started using liquid bleach. That change alone is nearly enough to make me want to switch back to drinking contaminated well water.

    At least mostly-pure chlorine ions will evaporate off if you let a glass of water sit for a while. Bleach just sits there and stinks. I can smell the difference when I take a bath or shower and during the dishwasher's rinse cycles.

  5. jkonrath says:

    I was googling around about water purification in NYC and I found a neat set of photos describing a water main break that happened in 1998. Anyway, check it out at

  6. myth says:

    They're in our drinking water, and they're having sex!

    A male of Tigriopus brevicornis is clasping a female fifth copepodid with its huge first antennae. When the female moults the male has to reclasp her. Precopulatory mate guarding may even occur with females of the first copepodid stage and can last up to 14 days in some species.

  7. tfofurn says:

    I, for one, welcome our ingestible, water-born microlords?

  8. archiedavis says:

    what a fantastic looking creature.
    it looks like something that should be chasing frodo around middle earth.

  9. aprilized says:

    ...the taxpayers have to pay for some special filter? Why don't they just install a filter that'll rid them of the buggers on their taps at home..?

  10. krick says:

    Stupid Jews.

  11. marklyon says: present itself as the first Atkins-approved city!

  12. bigbaldguy says:

    Every copepod is sacred,
    Every copepod is great.
    If a copepod is wasted,
    God gets quite irate.

    Let the heathen cook them
    In their metal pots.
    God will rage and huff and
    They'll break out in red spots.

    Carnivores will drink them
    On a springtime lawn.
    Then God will show them pain, for
    These critters must live on.

  13. imaget says:

    Imaget's rule #1, is not to piss on things that other people consider holy, so please anybody who might be offended please know that I make this comment with a whole-hearted curiosity and with no disrespectful intent. But this post brings to mind a conversation with an orthodox lady in my knitting group, on Thursday. As we were all sitting in our happy little ecumenical Stitch and Bitch, she was explaining some recent controversies within the orthodoxy. One of which involved broccoli and asparagus in kosher stores, and how they aren't allowed to eat sell the tips of asparagus, or the flowerets of broccoli because they might contain tiny unkosher bugs. One wonders if the orthodoxy were to take into account all bugs how they would manage to breathe with tiny arachnid non-kosher dustmites nearly omnipresent in buildings (a fact those of us with allergies know all too well). Or is it okay the breathe them in as long as you don't eat them?
    Plus this post makes me think of the movie Signs where the little girl won't drink the water after her brother has drank it because it had his 'amoebas' in it. :)

    • hubris_comix says:

      From what I've heard from orthodox Jews I know, the inhalation of dust mites is considered okay for the reason you stated: you are not eating them.

    • aprilized says:

      from what I understand...if you cannot abide by a specific law of any kind pertaining to dietary or otherwise due to impossible circumstances, then you're exempt; i.e. if you're going to die of starvation, you can eat pork...etc..

      I would assume then that ridding your house or building of bed bugs would fall into that catagory...