From the category archives:

Field Notes

Eating Invaders

April 3, 2016

The unconventional sushi options at Miya’s in New Haven are not merely on the menu for shock effect. The fish involved are invasive species: threats to the environment from which they were caught. Anna Lipin reports on eating invaders for MAD.

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    Innovative Solutions Wanted

    March 5, 2016

    Experts and the public will watch fifteen teams of university and college students propose solutions to address the threat of Asian carps to the Great Lakes on March 5, 2016 at the University of Toronto Scarborough. The Asian Carp Innovative Solutions Competition offers student teams a chance to win $5,000 in prizes. Read more about [...]

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      National Invasive Species Awareness Week

      February 4, 2016

      Save the date. National Invasive Species Awareness Week is coming up, February 21-27, 2016. See the map for an event near you.

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        Protect the environment: Eat these animals!

        December 2, 2015

        Keiron Monks reports on Eat the Invaders on CNN.

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          When Conservation Means Killing

          September 29, 2015

          Herbicides and insecticides are key tools in managing invasive species — but managers are working to find more environmentally friendly substitutes. Read more about it here. And remember that prevention is the best practice: “I try to get the message out to staff, scientists or anyone . . . to make sure they’re not tracking [...]

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            8 Invasive Species You Should Be Eating

            July 16, 2015

            If you can’t beat ’em, eat ‘em. Foragers turn to eating invasive species as a means of control. Lisa Munniksma reports on eating invasive species in hobbyfarms.com.

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              To Stop West Nile, Go Native

              July 15, 2015

              When contemplating the harm caused by invasive species, the imagination usually stops at fairly direct effects: an introduced predator decimates hapless prey; invasive weeds choke out native plants. But hacking around in the shrubbery a bit — literally — reveals that native and invasive species also have subtler pros and cons. Certain species of invasive [...]

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                Eat Your Way to a Better Ecosystem

                July 11, 2015

                Eat the Invaders on The List. Why eat invasive species? 1. They’re tasty. 2. You learn about the local environment. 3. Invasive populations decline. Our appetites can make a difference.

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                  These Invasive Catfish Are Destroying the Chesapeake—and They’re Delicious

                  June 22, 2015

                  “Across the board, biodiversity is being affected,” says Sharon Feuer Gruber of the blue catfish invasion. The Wide Net Project aims to take on this invader in Chesapeake Bay. Read more at Yahoo Food.

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                    Gulf Coast Lionfish Coalition

                    June 21, 2015

                    “Education, mitigation, utilization.” Join the Gulf Coast Lionfish Coalition to help educate the public and encourage the consumption of lionfish in restaurants and seafood markets. Read more about the coalition here.

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                      Land

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                      Blue Plate Special Garden Snail

                      Summer is coming to a close. It’s time to start harvesting in the garden–and gathering the garden snails.


                        EAT ME!
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                        Prickly Pear

                        Fall is here, and the “cactus fig” is in season. Time to plate-up another widespread invader.


                          EAT ME!
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                          Sow Thistle

                          It’s spring and time to weed. Sow thistle is a delicious invader found throughout the continent.


                            EAT ME!
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                            Lamb’s Quarters

                            Lamb’s quarters was a popular spring tonic in the South—an early season edible green—but its leaves are good throughout the summer.       Chenopodium album Native range: Described by Linnaeus in 1753, this European native has been transferred throughout much of the world. Because its spread was rarely recorded, C. album‘s native and invasive [...]


                              EAT ME!
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                              Garlic Mustard

                                Alliaria petiolata Native range: Europe, Asia, Northwest Africa Invasive range: Much of the Lower 48, Alaska, and Canada. (See map.) Habitat: Moist, shaded soil of floodplains, forests, roadsides, edges of woods, and forest openings. Often dominant in disturbed areas. Description: Biennial herb. First-year plant has a rosette of green leaves close to the ground. [...]


                                EAT ME!

                                Sea

                                Periwinkles

                                Periwinkle

                                The common periwinkle, which first appeared in New England in the 1860s, is now found along the coast wherever there’s hard substrate–rocks, riprap, broken concrete, or docks–from Labrador to . . .


                                  EAT ME!
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                                  Lionfish

                                  Some say it started in 1992 in Miami when Hurricane Andrew smashed an aquarium tank. Don’t blame the weather, others say; in the mid-nineties, disappointed yet softhearted hobbyists…


                                    EAT ME!
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                                    Wakame

                                      Undaria pinnatifida Native range: Japan Sea Invasive range: Southern California, San Francisco Bay, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Argentina Habitat: Opportunistic seaweed, can be found on hard substrates including rocky reefs, pylons, buoys, boat hulls, and abalone and bivalve shells. Description: Golden brown seaweed, growing up to nine feet. Forms thick canopy. Reproductive sporophyll in [...]


                                      EAT ME!
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                                      Asian Shore Crab

                                      The first sighting of the Asian shore crab in the United States was at Townsend Inlet, Cape May County, New Jersey, in 1988. Though the source is unknown . . .


                                        EAT ME!
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                                        Green Crab

                                        Since the green crab was first recorded off southern Massachusetts in 1817, it has been hard to ignore. A few minutes of rock-flipping in Maine can turn up dozens of them, brandishing their claws as they retreat…


                                          EAT ME!

                                          Fresh

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                                          Watercress

                                            Nasturtium officianale Native Range: Northern Africa, Europe, temperate Asia, and India Invasive Range: In USA: all lower 48 states, except North Dakota. Found in Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Also southern Canada, Sub-Saharan Africa, South America, Australasia, and parts of tropical Asia. Habitat: Common along stream margins, ditches, and other areas with [...]


                                            EAT ME!
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                                            Crayfish

                                              There are numerous invasive crayfish. We include details for the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and the rusty crayfish (Orenectes rusticus). The same recipes can be used for both species–and many other invasive crayfish. Red Swamp Crayfish Native range: Known as Louisiana crayfish, crawdad, and mudbug, Procambarus clarkii is native to the south central [...]


                                              EAT ME!
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                                              Northern Snakehead

                                              His sister was ailing, and the man in Maryland remembered that, back home in Hong Kong, there was a fish that was considered a delicacy and a restorative. He would make a fish soup…


                                                EAT ME!
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                                                Bullfrog

                                                “They live in a wide variety of habitats, colonize new ones readily, and eat everything that fits into their mouths,” says Dr. Peter Moyle of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC-Davis…


                                                  EAT ME!
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                                                  Common Carp

                                                  For a bottom-feeder, what is the good life? The common carp isn’t very demanding: any body of water that’s sluggish and murky will do. One catching sewage or…


                                                    EAT ME!

                                                    Field Notes

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                                                    Invaders on the Rise

                                                    During the last 200 years, the number of new invasive species has increased worldwide, with more than a third of all first introductions recorded between 1970 and 2014. More new invasions are expected among all groups of species in the near future, with the exception of mammals and fishes. Read the study here.


                                                      EAT ME!
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                                                      Burn the Invaders

                                                      Marabu is an invasive plant that has taken over much of Cuba’s abandoned farm lands. Artisinal charcoal from the tree is now the first legal export from Cuba to the United States in more than 50 years. Read more about the plan here.


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                                                        Pests for Dinner

                                                        New Scientist reports on the annual dinner at the Explorers Club in New York. Gene Rurka, the club’s resident chef, served grilled lionfish, Asian carp sushi, and iguana meatballs with a plum dipping sauce. An actual iguana splayed out on a bed of greens made a feral centerpiece. “I see this as a way of [...]


                                                          EAT ME!
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                                                          Bun Lai, Champion of Change

                                                          ETI’s colleague and friend, Bun Lai, is named a White House Champion of Change. His restaurant, Miya’s Sushi, in New Haven, offers the world’s only invasive species menu, featuring dishes made of foraged ingredients that are threatening to the region’s indigenous species. Read more about Bun and the rest of the sustainable seafood champions here.


                                                            EAT ME!
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                                                            Preventing the Spread of Invasives by Boats

                                                            Boating season is picking up. To protect a body of water from an invasive species transfer, stop by a boat washing station to clean the exterior of your boat, drain all water from ballast tanks, and then dry it to kill any unseen hitchhikers.


                                                              EAT ME!

                                                              “. . . you’ve been eating sugar cookies since you’ve been able to stand—if something’s subtle, sweetened with rose petals, how are you going to be able to taste it? It’s like going to a really loud concert, and someone tries to make you listen to a harp.”

                                                              —Marc Meltonville, Historic Kitchens team at Historic Royal Palaces, in The New Yorker