From the category archives:

News & Reviews

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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              Pests for Dinner

              November 28, 2016

              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 [...]

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                Bun Lai, Champion of Change

                October 6, 2016

                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.

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                  Preventing the Spread of Invasives by Boats

                  June 6, 2016

                  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.

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                    House Passes Resolution on Invasive Species

                    June 4, 2016

                    114th CONGRESS, 2d Session, May 25, 2016

                    H. RES. 754

                    Expressing the commitment of the House of Representatives to work to combat the nationwide problem of invasive species threatening native ecosystems.

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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…


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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.


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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. [...]


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                            Prickly Pear

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


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                              Sow Thistle

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


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                                Sea

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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 . . .


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                                  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 . . .


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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…


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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 [...]


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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…


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                                          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 [...]


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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.


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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 [...]


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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 [...]


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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. . .


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                                                    Field Notes

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                                                    Murder Hornet Eludes Washington State Scientists

                                                    Researchers in Washington State have lost track of an Asian giant hornet they were following — a stinging setback in the pursuit to eradicate an invasive species that threatens to decimate North American bee populations. Listen on NPR and read about hornet cuisine in Japan.


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                                                      When Invasive Species Become the Meal

                                                      Invasivore campaigns are part of a broader movement to reduce, if not eradicate, invasive species. Educational websites such as Eat the Invaders, founded in 2011 by Joe Roman, a conservation biologist at the University of Vermont, and slogans like “If you can’t beat ’em, eat ’em” frame what might otherwise be merely an epicurean decision [...]


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                                                        Can Harvest Programs Reduce Bighead Carp?

                                                        A new study looks at the impact of invasivorism on bigheaded carp on the Illinois River. With enough market demand, it just might work. But we might need to ditch the “carp.” Bighead. It’s what’s for dinner. Read the study here.


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                                                          Invasive Species Become a Hot Commodity

                                                          By developing architectural uses for nonnative species and timber thinnings—specimens that are strategically removed as part of forest management—architects are hoping to wean the building industry off carbon-intensive materials, such as concrete, steel, and aluminum, while creating mutually beneficial supply chains. Read more here.


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                                                            A Menu of Invasive Species

                                                            Across America, feral pigs are on the rampage, wrecking fields of crops, hunting local wildlife to extinction, and even attacking humans. In the United Kingdom, Japanese knotweed is taking over the landscape: Banks deny mortgages to infested properties, and the government regulates its disposal with the same precautions it takes for low-level nuclear waste. Humans [...]


                                                              EAT ME!

                                                              I: The universe is nothing without the things that live in it, and everything that lives, eats.
                                                              II: Animals feed themselves; men eat: but only wise men know the art of eating.
                                                              III: The destiny of nations depends on how they nourish themselves.
                                                              IV: Tell me what you eat, and I shall tell you what you are.

                                                              Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, 1825