DINNER IS SERVED: Asian shore crabs have spread rapidly since their introduction on the U.S. East Coast nearly three decades ago. Here they are served on a “plate” of invasive wakame seaweed. Image: Grant Cornett
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My restaurant, Miya's Sushi, is just a few miles from Long Island Sound. An important goal of ours is to have our cuisine return to the roots of sushi, meaning simply to use what we have available where we live. Often what we find now are invasive species—unwanted plants and animals that humans have introduced to ecosystems. Nationwide, invasive species such as the wild boar and Asian carp are destroying farms and fisheries, causing economic damage that has been estimated at $120 billion a year.
Our solution? Eat them. By collecting invasive seafood on shellfish beds, for instance, we basically provide a free weeding service. I also hope to convince the world that these invasives can be delicious—if you get into the right mind-set.
This article was originally published with the title How (and Why) to Eat Invasive Species.