Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Eating invasives: chefs as an avenue to control through consumption.

Abstract

Invasive alien species (IAS) are both present and progressively invading environments worldwide causing an array of negative ecological, social, and economic impacts. Control through consumption, or the harvesting of invasives specifically for eating, appears to be a viable option in managing a number of problem species. However, while a handful of control through consumption initiatives have proven successful, they have focused only on a few of the numerous edible IAS in existence, and the concept as a whole has received little attention from either scholars or the general public. This paper posits that current social and cultural trends are prime for the widespread acceptance of IAS as a food source and in addition to calling for immediate research on the potential for the control of an array of IAS through consumption, contends that chefs are central to the embracement of the practice given their position at the nexus of shifting cultural views about food, it is sourcing, consumption, and environmental impacts. A review of the relevant literature is provided and directions for future research delineated.