Biological Exchange and Biological Invasion in World History
by J. R. McNeill
A brief introduction to biological exchanges in world history. A later version of this draft appeared in the Oxford Encyclopedia of World History (2011).
International Congress of the Historical Sciences, Oslo, 2000

Bon Appetít
by Joe Roman
A modest proposal to confront invaders by eating them, with recipes for kudzu sorbet and nutria eggrolls.
Conservation in Practice, January-March 2006

Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants
Based at the Institute for Food and Agricultural Science at the University of Florida.  The resources here are mind-boggling.  Wander in and days later a search party will have to be mounted!

A couple of the field guides that you’ll find at the center

Invasive Aquatic and Wetland Plants Field Guide
With a focus on Illinois and Indiana, 21 invasive aquatic species of great national or regional concern are identified through color photographs, line drawings, and descriptions of growing conditions in a binder containing 42 waterproof pages. $15. Go overboard.

Invasive Aquatic Plants of Connecticut
Connecticut’s brochure, which contains local and national invaders, is available for free. 

Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health
Based at the University of Georgia

Cooperative Weed Management Areas
CWMA Cookbook: A Recipe for Success. How to put together a Cooperative Weed Management Area, or CWMA, a partnership of federal, state, and local government agencies, tribes, individuals, and groups to manage noxious weeds or invasive plants in a defined area.
Eccles Centre for American Studies.

Euell Gibbons: Author of Stalking the Wild Asparagus
Interview by Hal Smith
It has been 40 years since this wide-ranging interview was published. None of the issues Gibbons addresses–pollution, kids’ alienation from nature–has gone away. His books are all still in print, and Gibbons became a household name (at least for an older generation). Foraging’s hot. But has his open-armed embrace of nature, and mistrust of authority, been lost sight of–or does it continue with writers such as Pollan, Brill, and Moore Lappe?
Mother Earth News, May/June 1972

Florida Invaders
A brochure produced by the National Park Service and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. It contains excellent suggestions on what you can do to stop invaders. (Prevention is mightier than the knife and fork.)

Flying Fish, Great Dish
USGS fish biologist Duane Chapman shows how to debone the Asian carp step-by-step, as well as how to remove bones after the fillets are cooked. Available as a DVD and in three parts on Youtube.

Foraging with the Wildman
Wildman Steve Brill, a New York City institution, teaches foraging and identifying wild plants and mushrooms. (He’s a vegan.) As an urban forager, many of Brill’s plants and recipes focus on invaders.

Implementing Policies to Control Invasive Plants
Prevention is the best way to control invasions. All newly introduced plants should be screened, banning those species with a high likelihood of becoming invasive.
Controlling Invasive Plants

Invasion Science
Two biologists weigh in on some of the controversies surrounding invasion ecology.
Misleading Criticisms of Invasion Science: A Field Guide

Invasive Plant Atlas of New England
Recipes using invasive species
Run by a group of graduate students out of Notre Dame, has dozens of invasive recipes. And boy do they walk the walk. From bullfrogs to autumn olive, they’ve been cooking up species since early 2011.

Lake Champlain Basin Invasive Species Guide
Helpful, nicely illustrated guide to established and potential invaders to Vermont and New York’s “great” lake.

Larousse Gastronomique
First published in 1938 and last revised in 1988, Larousse Gastronomique is one of the culinary world’s most familiar reference sources. And oh, my, it’s fabulous! For the invasivore, there’s a nice little entry on the Burgundian way with the rat. And, of course, all those North American invasive weeds are in there. Surprisingly cheap copies languishing on Amazon.

Lionfish Cookbook
by Tricia Ferguson and Lad Akins
Recipes, background on the lionfish invasion, and information on how to safely catch, handle, and prepare the fish. Sale of this book supports REEF Environmental Educational Foundation.

Nonnative Species of Lake Superior
Tidy but awesome list of the invasive species of Lake Superior, compiled by Minnesota Sea Grant.

Troublesome Plants
In 1759, the American botanist John Bartram, a native of colonial Pennsylvania, published a list of “Introduced Plants Troublesome in Pennsylvania Pastures and Fields.” The list, which included dandelions and docks, can be found here.

Why Not Eat Insects?
by Vincent Holt, 1885
Holt celebrates the consumtion of invertebrates and other exotic foods. Though not pitched toward invasives, Part III is especially good.

Wikipedia’s List of Introduced Species
A good, if incomplete, list to browse for new ingredients.

Wild Plants I Have Known . . . and Eaten
by Russ Cohen
Forager Russ Cohen did a nice thing for the Essex County Greenbelt Association in Massachusetts. His book is published by the association and proceeds from its sales support land conservation. The Association allows responsible foraging on its property. You can buy the book, which includes several invasives, here.






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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…


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.


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. […]

nopales con huevo

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.




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 . . .



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 . . .

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…

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 […]


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…



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.



  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 […]



  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 […]



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. . .


Field Notes

Digital StillCamera

Can We Eliminate Invasive Species by Eating Them?

On restaurant menus across New England, green crabs are showing up in everything from bouillabaisse and bisques to croquettes and crudo. Read about it in Salon.


Radio Health Journal

Can adding invasives to your diet help the environment and your health? Listen to Radio Health Journal here.

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Qui veut manger des espèces invasives ?

Joe Roman chats with Camille Crosnier about eating invasives on France Inter. Listen here. In French.

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Berlin’s Invasive Species Cuisine

A Berlin food truck is opening people’s minds and mouths by feeding them a menu of invasive species with the slogan, “If you can’t beat them, eat them!” Read more about it in the Good News Network.

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Rack of Squirrel, Anyone?

Patrick Greenfield discusses the rise of invasivorism in the Guardian. Read it here.


“What is being lost? The answer is easy. A precious and irreplaceable part of Florida’s, and the nation’s, heritage is disappearing. Plants, animals, and entire ecosystems that took tens of thousands to millions of years to evolve are at risk. What is being gained in their place? A hodgepodge of species found in other parts of the world. . . . Florida is being homogenized, and everyone, for all time to come, will be the poorer for it.”

—E. O. Wilson, in his foreword to Strangers in Paradise: Impact and Management of Nonindigenous Species in Florida