We seem to live in a world of bizarre culinary trends, quickly-evolving health research and a barrage of eat-this-not-that PSAs. Deciding what to put on the dinner table has never been more of a battle, as experts decry America’s obsession with meat and factory farming, significant contributors to climate change and the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
But what if there were a sustainable source of food you could eat, and actually help out the planet? And what if it were (mostly) free?
Enter the invasive species. Hundreds of non-native plants and animals have been introduced across the country that have taken hold and caused considerable harm to local ecosystems. Many have spread unchecked over the past few decades, but now a simple solution has been proposed by ecologists and environmentally-minded chefs: It’s time to eat the enemy.
The Huffington Post will explore six different alien species that have snarled regional environments around the country: Lionfish along the Eastern Seaboard, bullfrogs in the Pacific Northwest, autumnberries in the Midwest, wild boar in the Southwest, jellyballs in the Gulf of Mexico and Asian carp in the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. Each and every one of them have seen populations explode in just a few short years, and they all have the potential to serve as delicious addition to your diet.
Follow along with us as we show you how you can use these under-appreciated and overabundant delicacies, and if you’re in the neighborhood, take a moment to step out, carefully* forage or go catch yourself something delicious. You can follow along with this series online and on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #EatTheEnemy.
So read on and tuck in — the planet will thank you.
*Not all invasive species are edible, and some included on this list can be dangerous, including lionfish and wild boar. Please take caution when foraging or hunting for your own food.
All photos via Getty and AP.