There isn’t a place in this big wide world that isn’t dealing with invasive species of one type or another. There’s the Asian carp that’s making inroads into our Midwestern rivers and great lakes, zebra mussels all over the place so dense they’re clogging up water mains, and of course, kudzu, the vine that ate the south! We especially have problems down here in sunny florida, where an invasive species, the lionfish is devastating reef fish populations along the Florida coast and into the Caribbean. (I’m not sure why they call it a lionfish, it’s got stripes just like a tiger!) These things are eating our reef fish down here, as if reefs aren’t in enough trouble as it is with pollution.
Now, more and more environmentalists and scientists are testing a new method to control the lionfish and other invasive species – They can’t seem to eradicate them, and they damaging our ecosystems so much that we’ve got to do something. So, to paraphrase an old saying, if you can’t beat them, eat them! It’s time to step up to the plate by putting these pests on our plates! Instead of eating Chilean Sea Bass, why not eat these carp and lionfish and make a positive contribution, not to mention a little good old fashioned revenge?
Eating Invasive Species?
So maybe most invasive species are not commonly thought of as table fare, but why is that? Probably just a matter of marketing. Lionfish and Asian carp are just as edible as any other fish, and you could even make a meal out of kudzu! Kudzu quiche, Kudzu salad, all sorts of creative options. I’m not saying that we can eliminate kudzu by just eating it, but, hey, maybe we can make a dent in it…
Carp and lionfish are even being tried out by celebrity chefs as part of an awareness program put together by several consumer groups. Braised lionfish filet in brown butter sauce, doesn’t sound too bad. It turns out that lionfish look nasty, but taste great!
Recently the Nature Conservancy sponsored a lionfish hunt in the Bahamas, making a mess of fritters and such from the catch. The fish does have poisonous spines, but if you remove them, they’re good to go! Does this sound far-fetched to you? Maybe, but there have been pariahs that have become palatable. How many of you have had dandelion greens on your salad? OK, so what does all this have to do with prepping?
In a collapse situation, we’ve got to know what we can find to eat in our environment. Having an open mind to things that we don’t always associate with food is going to give us more options to keep our bellies full in times of trouble. Feel free to be picky about your menu now, but learn about everything in your area that can go on your plate if the you-know-what hits the fan, and do it now! Check out the edible plant guides at foragerpress.com. If you don’t think you can handle eating this fish or that plant, maybe you can grind up that carp and feed it to the bass in your pond. If you have goats, they’ll probably eat your kudzu. Think outside the box, the icebox, that is, and you’ll figure out something!