There is a new trend in the United States where invasive species, terrestrial and marine, are being served up on platters for the discerning foodie.
Members of the Explorers Club in New York were treated in March to a buffet of invasive species including green iguana meatballs, Asian carp sashimi and lionfish fillets. A new pop-up restaurant has opened in Miami which is offering curious customers a wide range of invasive species including lionfish sashimi and Asian carp baked ribs.
Here in the UK, grey squirrel are making it on to the menu more and more frequently, including at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage canteens.
The aim of putting invasive species on the menu is to encourage people to catch, buy and eat them – a creative way of controlling invasive species populations at a local level as a way to stabilise and make the planet more sustainable. Making these species desirable and marketable, especially in areas where they are present in large numbers, could relieve the pressure on other species that are currently being unsustainably fished or farmed.
Iguana meatballs anyone?!
Image: Lionfish by Michael Gabler