Invasive species, such as jellyfish, wild boar, and periwinkles, belong not in their natural environment but on our dinner table. At least that’s what our nation’s foodies tell us lately. Flora and fauna considered invasive species are non-indigenous to a given region, and their growing populations harm whatever environment they’ve decided to invade. So the trendy take on the problem is to control these populations by eating them.
Such exotic dishes can be a hard sell for unadventurous eaters–but, impeccably styled in the photography series, Invasive Species, they actually look too good to eat. In the series, photographer Christopher Testani, food stylist Michelle Gatton, and art director Mason Adams document such creatures before and after they’ve been turned into gourmet food.
There’s a Canada Goose madeover as goose leg confit; peanut butter jellyfish (get it?); and gray squirrel served up on crostini with goat cheese. Luckily, the photographers didn’t give this treatment to humans, the most invasive species of all.
Just remember the grand goal here–to reclaim our role as top-of-the-food-chain predators instead of as consumers. All is good when we help restore nature’s balance. It’s not a minor problem, either. If we all ate nutria sausage as zealously as we eat Big Macs, there wouldn’t be such a problem with the fast-breeding rodents’ destruction of marshes. Voracious lionfish, non-native to the Atlantic Ocean and with no known predators, can wipe out 90% of a reef. But what if humans decided to become their first predators and put them in tacos? It’s so worth it.