Eating invasives goes mainstream

invasive species
CC BY 2.0 A snakehead fish / Flicker

The ethics of eating invasive species has been debated. While some argue that eating invasive species is an excellent option for controlling their populations, others feel that being green means being vegetarian--and not valuing one animal more than another.

Like it or not, the practice of turning invasive species into a source of calories is catching on. Nancy Matsumoto, writing for The Atlantic, has collected an impressive roll call of restaurants with invasive species on the menu, from snakehead fish in D.C. to Nilgai antelope served in Texas.

But perhaps the most interesting aspect captured in Matsumoto's piece is that some species are becoming popular foods due to taste, not origin:

At Vetri, chef Adam Lionti sears Hughes's antelope rib loin and serves it with an amarone sauce, made with the full-bodied Veneto-region wine of partially dried grapes. "It has a great flavor that goes well with the rich meat; we serve it rare with slices of delicata squash," says chef-owner Marc Vetri. He uses feral hog to enrich a ragu served with chestnut fettuccine. Vetri represents that breed of chef for whom quality and taste trumps any crusading sense of eco-activism. "I'm not using these animals for shock value, or looking at them as 'invasive species'; I don't even know what that means," he says. "Certain meats have interesting tastes and you can pair them up with things that make sense."

Read the full story here.

Eating invasives goes mainstream
Invasive plants and animals are popping up on restaurant menus around the U.S.