Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Diet for an Invaded Planet: Invasive Species by James Gorman

                                                                                                                  Photo Credit: John Tann                             
I read this really great article by James Gorman in the NY Times, pretty funny but very real, about a new sustainable food movement- along the same lines of veganism, eating locally, seasonally, etc.- centered around the consumption of invasive species.  The invasive species diet focuses on eating non-native plants and animals that have literally invaded local ecosystems. In Seattle, for instance, the Himalayan Blackberry inhabits almost every single square inch of unplanted land (OK, an exaggeration, but seriously). While delicious, the aggressive blackberry makes it impossible for many plant species native to the Pacific Northwest to thrive, thus limiting plant diversity and more generally, biodiversity.  So, what to do? Eat them- the blackberry was a bad example because people do eat them but they stick around anyways.  In the case of the blackberry put on your thickest gardening gloves and rip them out! 

Blackberries aside, the article shares the stories of several invasivores who are committed to slowing species invasion by eating such delicacies as Canadian geese, lion fish, starlings, wild mustard, deer, Bermuda grass, thistles and the like (YUM). Which actually leads me to a funny story: My friend's parents belong to a CSA in the Bay Area and one day they received a large bunch of spindly greens tagged as Agretti with the suggestion of making agretti spaghetti.  When they googled agretti, they found out that their CSA had given them a close cousin to tumbleweed, which was most likely not something they were actually growing on their farm, but rather a weed.  As it turned out, agretti spaghetti was quite delicious so give invasivorism a try... It may sound a little ridiculous, but trying to eat invasive species is a very sustainable, probably pretty healthy (especially if you are running around hunting pigeons), and literal way to get back to the original land.

Also, here's the tag line: “Eat for the environment. Eat locally. Eat wild meat. Eat for habitat. Eat invasive.”


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