Queen Elizabeth II to be Served Invasive Lamprey Pie
The war against harmful invasive species will surely get a much welcome boost as the latest high-profile celebrity set to take a bite of an invasive species dish is no less than the Queen of England herself. Grist reports that on her upcoming Diamond Jubilee, Queen Elizabeth II will be served with lamprey pie, an invasive species currently devastating the Great Lakes.
It has been the tradition of the city of Gloucester to send lamprey pies to the ruling monarch on special events. Grist mentions the high preference of King Henry I for the dish, believed to have been the cause of his death in 1135 due to overindulgence. Lampreys are parasitic eels which attach themselves to other fish and suck their blood. They historically flourished in the Severn River near the city of Gloucester but have since invaded the Great Lakes, where they have devoured local fish populations.
Though the Queen will not be heralded as an invasivore by merely sampling the pie, the event is expected to draw attention on the war against invasives and the unusual strategy proposed to combat it: eating invasives.
Instead of using potentially harmful control measures such as chemical, mechanical, and biological controls, people are encouraged to eat invasives instead as a way of dealing with them. Some take the fight a step further: joining the invasivore movement. Invasivores eat plant and animal species specifically because they are invasive. MNN compares invasivores to locavores:
“Invasivores seek the environmental benefits of their eating habits. Like a locavore that chooses locally grown food so that a minimum amount of energy is used to transport it, an invasivore chooses some of his foods to lessen the devastation that invasive species do to the local environment. Both types of eaters are motivated by their environmentalism.”
-Robin Shreeves via Mother Nature Network
Provided the invasive plant or animal species is safe to eat, they can be an unexpected sustainable and abundant source of food. Not only will the native species population get a break, the alien species’ impact on the environment will be diminished with each bite.
No idea on how to prepare a particular invasive species in your area? Check out some of Invasivore.org’s list of recipes for 29 invasive species:
Canada Goldenrod – for this wildflower that grows aggressively in North America, Europe, and China, Invasive.org offers three recipes: Goldenrod Bruschetta, Strawberry-Goldenrod Pesto, and Goldenrod Cornbread.
Garlic mustard – this cousin of the field mustard is a particularly tough species to get under control. Garlic mustard damages surrounding plants by releasing harmful chemicals that prevent them from taking up nutrients as well as water. Some variants are also toxic to herbivores at high levels, which are an advantage to their growth and proliferation. They taste good to people though, as these recipes from Invasive.org attest: Garlic mustard and artichoke dip, Ma-po Garlic Mustard and Tofu, Garlic Mustard Ice Cream, Garlic Mustard Salad, and Garlic Mustard Frittata .
Invasive.org can also use some recipe contributions for other (in)famous invasive species like kudzu, asian carp, and lionfish.
Bid adieu to invasive species by greeting them on your dinner plate. Bon appétit!
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