From the category archives:


White Man’s Foot

August 20, 2012

When was the term invasive species first used? It could have been 1891, when an article in The Indian Forester noted, “As [purple loosestrife] can exist under different climatic conditions and is an invasive species, it has extended far beyond its original home.” Or has a much earlier usage been hiding in plain sight all [...]

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    Green Iguana

    July 25, 2012

    These days, a January cold snap in Miami means nights when it rains iguanas. Down from sea grapes and buttonwood trees large, green, tree-dwelling invaders fall–––because they’re…

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      June 11, 2012

      You look out over your lawn and curse. The dandelion is back again, doing what it does best: invading. And yet it’s so common now that you may be surprised to learn it’s not a native species––it’s one of the 2,000…

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        Curly Dock

        June 9, 2012

        Stare out across the empty lots and fields on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado, and you will see scattered clumps of dark green leaves towering above the grass. In spring the…

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          November 19, 2011

          Kudzu was first brought to the U.S. by Japan, which promoted it as an ornamental and as a forage crop at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. By 1900, its fragrant grape-scented purple flowers…

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            Troublesome Weeds

            October 18, 2011
            Thumbnail image for Troublesome Weeds

            Although many Americans grow greens for spring and summer salads, there are numerous exotic species–relished in their native lands but abundantly ignored here–that require…

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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!
                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!

                    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!

                      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!



                        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!


                          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


                            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


                                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!

                                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!


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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!


                                      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!


                                        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!
                                        Distinguishing _ Channa argus

                                        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!


                                          “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!

                                            Field Notes

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                                            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!

                                              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!

                                                Invasive Herbs for Herbal Tea

                                                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.

                                                  EAT ME!

                                                  Can Markets Handle Invasive Species?

                                                  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 [...]

                                                    EAT ME!

                                                    Defeating Invaders by Eating Invaders

                                                    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.

                                                      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