Invasive Species: From Pests to Feasts

July 12, 2011

In the circle of life, someone or something is always bound, or for the lack of a better term, destined, to eat and to get eaten. That is how it’s supposed to be, one way or another. Survival of the fittest is the name of the game, and any creature has to be strong enough to play. Human beings may not be the strongest of all, but then again, we are considered to be the smartest. What better way to prove this by finding creative and innovative ways to turn pests into feasts.

Some animals, specifically sea creatures like the Lionfish, the European Green Crab, and the Asian Carp, have long been considered nuisances not only to people but to other water animals as well. Environmental groups and culinary experts have joined hands in “cooking up” ways, literally, to put these creatures into better, more productive uses.

The lionfish has venomous spines and can carry certain toxins from the water it inhabits. This sea animal is also notorious for causing destruction to fish reefs, and consequently reducing the number of reef fishes. European green crabs reproduce very quickly and are voracious predators. The Asian carp is a threat to lake ecosystems due to their rapid rate of growth and population increase.

Aside from Lionfish Fritters, Braised Lionfish Filet, Asian Carp Ceviche, the search is on for more recipes which make use of these creatures as ingredients, as well as cooks who will be able to whip up these yummy concoctions. With these steps, we are hoping not only to have something new at the dinner table, but also to help in maintaining ecological balance in nature. Mealtimes will surely be something to look forward to when this campaign goes full throttle.

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