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"You don't have to leave home to eat your way around the world"
August 8, 2012 10:21 AM   Subscribe

Eat the Invaders - Fighting invasive species one bite at a time.
posted by Burhanistan (44 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me!'s Sandwich Monday: The Asian Carp Slider
posted by backseatpilot at 10:22 AM on August 8, 2012


I tell you, I'm interested in trying fried lionfish myself.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:24 AM on August 8, 2012


You can grill it. You can jerk it.

Last time I did that I was arrested for public indecency, so no thanks.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:27 AM on August 8, 2012


Some of these could benefit from re-branding (along the lines of the Patagonian Toothfish becoming Chilean Sea Bass).

Nutria, for example, should probably be renamed Arcadian Lamb. Green Iguana could become Arboreal Pork and so on.
posted by jquinby at 10:28 AM on August 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Call me when they figure out how to make salpichroa origanifolia edible. The rate it grows, and how unkillable it is?

World hunger: SOLVED
posted by Myca at 10:28 AM on August 8, 2012


> Green Iguana could become Arboreal Pork and so on.

That does sound more haute than "tree chicken".
posted by Burhanistan at 10:29 AM on August 8, 2012


Came in here to say that Asian Carp were awful but backseatpilot gave you NPR faces that make the same point (with the same sliders), so if you don't trust those Chicago-based liberals who try to inform you and make you laugh, trust this Chicago-based liberal who tries to make inform you and make you laugh. Do not eat Asian Carp.

Of course, if we keep heating up the planet, they might not be a problem.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:29 AM on August 8, 2012


Can you not even smoke Asian Carp to make them edible? I'd always heard that smoking was about the only thing that made regular carp worth eating. Never had it myself, though.
posted by jquinby at 10:31 AM on August 8, 2012


Asian Carp DNA was found in Lake Eerie. Fuck. I know they're disgusting but someone really needs to find a way to make them edible or we're in trouble.

Oh, I know! Let's find a larger, good tasting predator and introduce it! That fixes everything.
posted by charred husk at 10:36 AM on August 8, 2012


How to Make Macha Kudzu Mochi (cooking with dog)
posted by KokuRyu at 10:38 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nutria can also be used in fur hats.
posted by Egg Shen at 10:38 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


You would have to pay me a pretty serious sum to get me to eat an emerald ash borer.
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:41 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


As Steve Brill (1994) points out, curly dock “became an important vegetable during the Great Depression, when people were hungry.”

I took a foraging tour with Steve Brill in Central Park, and Curly Dock was one of the things we saw!
posted by Greg Nog at 10:45 AM on August 8, 2012


I have spent twenty years in Texas trying to convince people to let me hunt wild hogs on their land. I like pork, but wild pork is the best pork in the world.
No one wants to let me.
Most of them see the hogs as a nuisance and don't think they are edible.
There are all sorts of myths about why they are inedible, but I have found that all but the largest, nastiest, ruttin'est boars are quite edible.
Wild hog rendang.
Wild hog green chile.
Wild hog barbecue (ribs, hams, loins, oh my).
Braised wild hog with kopytka and cabbage.
Wild hog red chile.
Wild hog tacos.
Wild hog chorizo and eggs.
Wild hog andouille in wild hog gumbo.
Wild hog Polish sausages with homemade sauerkraut.
It ain't for nothin' that my friends make fun of me for my fixation. They don't turn it down when I cook it, though. But alas, the strategic hog reserves are low and I am left cooking the lowly cow and doing naught to help the land. Perhaps I shall branch out.
Goddamn purslane is taking over my yard. I know what's on the menu tonight.

(I do also eat a good bit of wild mustard greens, but by this point in the year, I just tear them out of the ground and kill 'em. Too tough and bitter and covered with bird poop.)
posted by Seamus at 10:49 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


My idea is that someone's going to make a killing harvesting Asian carp, blending them, and selling the resulting slurry to farmers as fertilizer. Hey, it's organic!

That and cat food.
posted by valkyryn at 10:50 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, and that was also where I learned that White Man's Foot was edible. The leaves are pretty good, and the seeds have a pleasantly nutty taste!
posted by Greg Nog at 10:53 AM on August 8, 2012


Asian carp just jumps in the boat.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:54 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


You would have to pay me a pretty serious sum to get me to eat an emerald ash borer.

Maybe. But I might eat a chop salad seasoned with fruits frêne.
posted by jquinby at 10:54 AM on August 8, 2012


Jack Landers' book Eating Aliens is due out next month.
North America is under attack by a wide range of invasive animals. Black spiny-tailed iguanas in Florida, Asian carp in Missouri and Virginia, nutria in Louisiana, European green crabs in Connecticut, and other alien species throughout the United States are devouring our native plants and animals, pushing many to the brink of extinction. Jackson Landers has a unique solution to the problem: Eat them! This adventure narrative describes Landers’s quest to hunt twelve invasive animal species and turn them into delicious meals, showing how anyone can feed a family while enjoying the thrill of the hunt and helping to protect and conserve the natural environment.
posted by zamboni at 11:05 AM on August 8, 2012


They need some recipes for the Hudson River's water caltrops. I know they are harvested and eaten in China (not to be confused with water chestnuts).
posted by gubo at 11:08 AM on August 8, 2012


We have a major stink bug infestation in the Mid Atlantic that is spreading. I just learned from Wikipedia:
They also are commonly eaten in Laos, and are regarded as delicious due to their extremely strong odor. The insects are sometimes pounded together with spices and a seasoning to prepare cheo, a paste mixed with chilies and herbs.
How to Eat Living Stink Bugs
posted by stbalbach at 11:09 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


We don't need to eat them ourselves, we just need to figure out how to get cows, pigs and chickens to eat them.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:11 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Eating stink bugs video
posted by stbalbach at 11:16 AM on August 8, 2012


Unmentionable Cuisine
posted by Egg Shen at 11:16 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


By the by, during the last Periodic Cicada hatch (last summer for our brood), someone got ill from eating too many of them. There's also the danger that if you're sensitive to shellfish, you might react to large quantities of insects.

So, you know, moderation.
posted by jquinby at 11:18 AM on August 8, 2012


(and by someone, I mean someone who isn't me...it was in the news)
posted by jquinby at 11:19 AM on August 8, 2012


Interview with a nutria.
posted by wreckingball at 11:29 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love me some water spinach.
posted by Hubajube at 11:36 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


They ought to include snakehead.
posted by exogenous at 12:00 PM on August 8, 2012


Here on Kauai, we have feral chickens.

Recipe for Kauai chicken:
Place chicken in boiling water with a lava rock.
Boil for 12 hours.
Discard the chicken and eat the rock.
posted by kamikazegopher at 12:06 PM on August 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Hey! They included a recipe from my old boss, Chef Jose: Kudzu Blossom Sorbet. Kudzu flowers smell JUST like grape Koolaid. I suggest this as an intermède before his turnip greens-stuffed ravioli.
posted by memewit at 12:11 PM on August 8, 2012


Purslane is full of Omega 3s and sells at my local farmers' market at a gourmet greens stall for $8/lb.

I liked the taste enough that I bought a seed packet from some hippie store and now one small concrete-surrounded garden plot is well on its way to providing me with maintenance-free nutritious salad greens. Bonus: it's crowding out the (inedible, invasive) scarlet pimpernel and a million other inedible weeds that came with the house.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 12:18 PM on August 8, 2012


It's being emphasized in this recent thread--still on the front page as I type--that Felis domesticus (which the taxonomists are vainly trying to revise into Felis catus or F. sylvestris catus) is a destructive alien import into N. Am. So, in honor of that thread, Dragon fighting Tiger. Long hu dou.
posted by jfuller at 12:18 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


> They ought to include snakehead.

They did!
posted by Burhanistan at 12:19 PM on August 8, 2012


So, in honor of that thread, Dragon fighting Tiger. Long hu dou.

There's also a few European options: Eating Cat Meat: A Taboo?.
posted by zamboni at 12:45 PM on August 8, 2012


There's also a few European options: Eating Cat Meat: A Taboo?

Despite being very aware that there's little difference between eating a cat and eating a cow, I still wouldn't do it. No cats, no dogs, no horses please.
posted by Malice at 1:52 PM on August 8, 2012


Burhanistan: "> They ought to include snakehead.

They did!
"

Oh, thanks, my mistake. I was looking under the wrong column - didn't see it under "Fresh."

Earlier this year a guy caught an 18 pound snakehead, unofficially a record. "The International Game Fish Association, which keeps the world records, likes to have girth and length measurements for record-breakers. By the time Duran figured that out, it was too late — he’d already given the fish to a friend, who’d turned it into supper."
posted by exogenous at 2:01 PM on August 8, 2012


> Despite being very aware that there's little difference between eating a cat and eating a cow

Um, cat meat is stringy, tough, and has hardly any delicious fat. Cow and cat meat are like night and day, palate wise. If you mean sentience and what not, then that's another story.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:15 PM on August 8, 2012


there's little difference between eating a cat and eating a cow

Carnivores are very expensive to raise compared to herbivores, so that's one reason not to do it. As for horses versus cows...

Anyway, I think a bounty system could work wonders for some invasive species. Bounties on coyotes and mountain lions dang near rendered them extinct in the United States, for example. How about a bounty on kudzu root crowns (the part necessary to kill the plant)? Say $1 or so per crown? Could be both an effective way to remove kudzu and a nice work program.
posted by jedicus at 3:40 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have spent twenty years in Texas trying to convince people to let me hunt wild hogs on their land. I like pork, but wild pork is the best pork in the world.

I saw "wild dogs" first, which made even less sense when you started to refer to it as pork...
posted by disillusioned at 4:32 PM on August 8, 2012


Dandelions were a deliberate introduction. I have been trying to deliberately grow some indoors for the sake of the tender young leaves. So far, it's amazing how tiny they are compared to the ones out-doors.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 5:16 PM on August 8, 2012


Eating your way around the world starts with eating cheese that has lived in your house for at least a week outside the refrigerator.
posted by vozworth at 6:13 PM on August 8, 2012


For seasoning try some Florida Holly, aka pink peppercorns. We've got plenty of em down here.
posted by mcrandello at 8:56 AM on August 9, 2012


If you are messing around with Florida Holly (called Brazilian Pepper Tree in some places) keep an eye out for an allergic reaction. It can develop over time and it can be pretty bad, with extensive skin and soft tissue irritation.
But tasty!
posted by Seamus at 10:14 AM on August 9, 2012


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