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Earth Science

Should We Eat Invasive Species? 290

The Washington Post's Energy & Environment section raises today the question of whether the best way to control certain invasive species is to eat them. The biggest success story on this front in the U.S. has been the lionfish; it destroys the habitat of some other fish in the areas where it's been introduced, but it turns out to be a palatable food fish, too. Its population has gone down since the start of a concerted effort to encourage it as a food, rather than just a nuisance. The article touches on invasive species of fish and crustaceans, but also land animals and plants. I know that garlic mustard (widespread in eastern U.S. forests) is tasty, and so are the blackberries all over Seattle.
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Should We Eat Invasive Species?

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  • Nutria (Score:5, Informative)

    by spudnic ( 32107 ) on Sunday May 25, 2014 @11:56AM (#47087511)
    They tried this a couple of decades ago in South Louisiana with the nutria. It turns out people weren't waiting in line to eat real life ROUSes. (Rodents Of Unusual Size)

    Now the state offers a $5 bounty [] per nutria tail turned in.
  • Re:On that note (Score:3, Informative)

    by tyme ( 6621 ) on Sunday May 25, 2014 @12:26PM (#47087671) Homepage Journal

    Shakrai [] wrote:

    Plenty of species have benefited from humans without becoming primary sources of food for them. Easy example: Cats and Dogs. Other examples: Squirrels, pigeons, and rats.

    Except that cats [], dogs [], squirrels [], pigeons [], and rats [] have all been (or are) on the menu.

  • by aevan ( 903814 ) on Sunday May 25, 2014 @12:32PM (#47087693)
    It's a Cantonese saying "Anything that walks, swims, crawls, or flies, with its back to heaven is edible.", used in South China. It backdates to the 1800s. It's been referenced in some cookbooks (e.g. "The Chinese Kitchen" by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo), and is known/used by some Chinese, and not others.

    Cue supposition based on some searching: the area traded heavily with the West during that time. Take the exotic delicacies and dishes concocted by chefs, add in a language/culture barrier,good old prejudice, and the loss of context in repetition...I can easily imagine it's a Western generalisation/mild slur that got repeated and adopted and over time became adopted as a regional motto of sorts (i.e. isn't 'known' in the Mandarin areas, just the Cantonese south).

    Could be waaay off though.

"Say yur prayers, yuh flea-pickin' varmint!" -- Yosemite Sam