The New York Times Magazine had an interesting piece yesterday on the budding invasivore food movement. For those who missed it, here’s a clip:
There’s a new shift in the politics of food, not quite a movement yet, more of an eco-culinary frisson. But it may have staying power; the signs and portents are there. Vegans, freegans, locavores — meet the invasivores.
Some divers in the Florida Keys recently held a lionfish derby, the idea being to kill and eat lionfish, an invasive species. Local chefs cooperated by promoting the lionfish as a tasty entree. The idea drew editorial support from Andrew Revkin in a post on The Times’s Dot Earth blog in which he also mentioned an attempt by some fisheries biologists to rename the invading Asian carp “Kentucky tuna” to make it more appealing to diners. And the Utne Reader recently ran an article about Chicago chefs turning their attention to the same invasive fish.
The rumblings go further back, of course, as rumblings always do. The idea of eating kudzu and the recipes for it have been around for decades. More recently, at the beginning of 2009, a San Francisco blogger on matters ecological, animal and political, Rachel Kesel, posted a nicely turned argument for the “invasive species diet”…
Well, it got me thinking about how we should probably all try to incorporate a few more invasive species into our diets. And, with that in mind, I spent a great deal of today foraging along the banks of the Huron River. Sadly, the pickings were rather slim. While I was able to collect a few hand-fulls of garlic mustard, I wasn’t able to find even a single zebra mussel. And, while I was able to spot what I think was a non-migratory Canada goose, the rock that I hurled at it fell pitifully short. So, as I sit here eating raw garlic mustard leaves tonight, my mind is racing, thinking of ways to increase my daily allotment of invasivore protein, in the interest of protecting Michigan’s delicate ecosystem. And, I think I’ve got a solution. I’ve contacted a friend in Louisiana and arranged to have three mating pair of nutria – or mouse-beaver – sent to Michigan. If all goes well, I’ll have the six of them in my possession by this weekend. And, God willing, we’ll have a thriving colony on the banks of the Huron come summer… Happy hunting!
I hear they taste like White Castles.