Emerging Trend: The Invasivore Movement

Emerging Trend: The Invasivore Movement

Food & Drink

Emerging Trend: The Invasivore Movement


There seems to be a growing trend that has to do with getting rid of certain things in nature that could be qualified as nuisances…by eating them.

Case in point: the lionfish. This invasive, predatory fish species is wreaking havoc in the Atlantic up and down the East Coast and in the critical reef habitat off the Florida Keys where it threatens the recovery of overfished species such as grouper and snapper.

Divers in the Keys recently held a lionfish derby, and local chefs joined in by promoting the lionfish as a delicious entrée—despite its venomous spines. Some fisheries biologists have attempted to rename the lionfish, also known as Asian carp, dubbing it “Kentucky Tuna” to try to make it sound tastier. (Not sure that name does the trick.)

Writing for The New York Times, James Gorman cites other examples of the “invasivore” movement, past and present, such as kudzu, the widely reviled ivy-like plant known to take over everything in its path. Kudzu recipes have been around for decades, Gorman points out.

San Francisco blogger Rachel Kesel argues in favor of the “invasive species diet,” proposing that we eat more weeds, such as the Brassica rapa. Quoted in Gorman’s story, Kesel claims she’s “almost serious” when she says we should “Eat for the environment. Eat locally. Eat wild meat. Eat invasive.”

Jackson Landers, who calls himself the Locavore Hunter, is a serious invasivore. He teaches city dwellers how to hunt and butcher deer, an animal that’s becoming more and more invasive in many parts of the country. Landers has also hunted and eaten feral pigs, armadillos, starlings, pigeons, and Canada Geese. He’s compiling a book on the subject, “Eating Aliens,” which may also become a TV show.

Gorman writes that when you consider other things that invade a suburban home or golf course, “a world of possibilities opens up.” Raccoons, opossums, squirrels and skunks could fit into this category, he opines—as well as Japanese knotweed, which he says he has in abundance.

Well, yes, I guess so, but none of those things sound too delicious to me. I’m just not ready to become an “invasivore” yet. How about you?

I know cows aren’t threatening to invade my property anytime soon, but I could really go for a cheeseburger right about now.

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