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News & Reviews

If You Can’t Beat Them, Eat Them

April 28, 2019

Can appealing to our stomachs–and our sense of fun–help preserve an ecosystem? Off the Florida coast, the lionfish, an aquarium pet gone destructive, is promoted as food and in spearfishing contests. Check out the story in The Christian Science Monitor here.

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    Invasive Species Turned Into Sustainable Delicacies

    February 13, 2019

    “It is certainly a great idea to cook with invasive species, but a challenging one,” Andrew Esterson, a restoration ecologist, explains. “Education would go a long way. Perhaps if there was a demand for nutria it would start showing up at farmers markets or on the shelves at grocery stores.” Esterson’s first time cooking with [...]

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      The Alien Aesthetic

      May 7, 2018

      Patterson Clark turns invasive plants into art. As a volunteer for the National Park Service, he got an idea: “One day, when I was pulling a plant, I thought, how can I change my relationship with this plant so that it’s not just eradication, taking something’s life? Since then, I’ve been harvesting invasive plants, rather [...]

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        The Lionfish Market

        December 15, 2017

        In a sign that the eat-the-invaders movement continues to gain steam, the University of West Florida’s College of Business is offering a course on marketing the highly invasive lionfish to consumers. Read more about it here.

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          New Species Invade Campus Dining

          October 13, 2017

          Inspired by the work of the Eat the Invaders project, UVM Dining and the University of Vermont Real Food Working Group hosted a dinner featuring edible invasive species.

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            Invasive Herbs for Herbal Tea

            October 7, 2017

            The ingredients for many herbal teas, including lemon balm, mint, and nettles, have become naturalized in the United States. RateTea reviews a few of them here.

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              Can Markets Handle Invasive Species?

              May 25, 2017

              Marketing campaigns are underway to spur demand for the flaky white fillets of lionfish. The Reef Environmental Education Foundation has published a cookbook in an attempt to get people to realize that lionfish is an option for dinner. Whole Foods has hosted “Take a Bite Out of Lionfish”: live filleting and cooking demos and lionfish [...]

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                Defeating Invaders by Eating Invaders

                April 12, 2017

                In some biology classes, students read about invasive species. Last week, in professor Joe Roman’s course, Marine Ecology and Conservation, his students were eating them. Read more here.

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                  Invaders on the Rise

                  March 9, 2017

                  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.

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                    Burn the Invaders

                    March 9, 2017

                    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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                      Land

                      Wild_boar

                      Wild Pig

                      Did the domestic ancestors of today’s feral pigs streak off De Soto’s ship into the Florida scrub of their own accord in 1539? Or did they have to be urged to go find something to eat? All you need to…


                        EAT ME!
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                        Garden Snail

                        Deliberately or accidentally, by the movement of plants and by hobbyists who collect snails, humans have spread the garden snail to temperate and subtropical zones around the world.


                          EAT ME!
                          GarlicMustard1

                          Garlic Mustard

                          It’s spring and greens are popping up all over, not all of them welcome. Time to get busy and harvest some 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, [...]


                            EAT ME!
                            nopales con huevo

                            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!

                                Sea

                                Hemigrapsus_sanguineus_big

                                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!
                                  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!
                                    Pterois volitans

                                    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!
                                      chuka wakame

                                      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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                                        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

                                          Armored Catfish Meatballs (1)

                                          Armored Catfish

                                          The armored catfish is abundant and destructive in Florida, Texas, and Mexico. Cast your nets for these flavorful natives of the Amazon. Scientific name: Two types have become established in North America: armadillo del rio, Hypostomus plecostomus, and sailfin catfishes in genus Pterygoplichthys Native range: Amazon River Basin Invasive range: Texas, Florida, and Hawaii; also [...]


                                            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. If the water is clean, and you’ve got corn for bait, try one of these recipes.


                                              EAT ME!
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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!
                                                rusty_crayfish-large

                                                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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                                                  Nutria

                                                  Nutria, also known as coypu and river rat, is native to temperate and subtropical South America. It has been introduced to Europe, Asia, and Africa, mainly for fur farming. These voracious. . .


                                                    EAT ME!

                                                    Field Notes

                                                    Screenshot 2019-04-28 16.56.40

                                                    If You Can’t Beat Them, Eat Them

                                                    Can appealing to our stomachs–and our sense of fun–help preserve an ecosystem? Off the Florida coast, the lionfish, an aquarium pet gone destructive, is promoted as food and in spearfishing contests. Check out the story in The Christian Science Monitor here.


                                                      EAT ME!
                                                      Screenshot 2019-02-13 08.50.51

                                                      Invasive Species Turned Into Sustainable Delicacies

                                                      “It is certainly a great idea to cook with invasive species, but a challenging one,” Andrew Esterson, a restoration ecologist, explains. “Education would go a long way. Perhaps if there was a demand for nutria it would start showing up at farmers markets or on the shelves at grocery stores.” Esterson’s first time cooking with [...]


                                                        EAT ME!
                                                        invasive-brushes

                                                        The Alien Aesthetic

                                                        Patterson Clark turns invasive plants into art. As a volunteer for the National Park Service, he got an idea: “One day, when I was pulling a plant, I thought, how can I change my relationship with this plant so that it’s not just eradication, taking something’s life? Since then, I’ve been harvesting invasive plants, rather [...]


                                                          EAT ME!
                                                          Screenshot 2017-12-15 08.38.28

                                                          The Lionfish Market

                                                          In a sign that the eat-the-invaders movement continues to gain steam, the University of West Florida’s College of Business is offering a course on marketing the highly invasive lionfish to consumers. Read more about it here.


                                                            EAT ME!
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                                                            New Species Invade Campus Dining

                                                            Inspired by the work of the Eat the Invaders project, UVM Dining and the University of Vermont Real Food Working Group hosted a dinner featuring edible invasive species.


                                                              EAT ME!

                                                              “What we see as weeds is dinner for a pollinator. A perfectly green, manicured lawn is a biological desert for pollinators.”

                                                              May Berenbaum in Heirloom Gardener