Our mission here at Invasivore is to be your one-stop guide for devouring Invasive Species, those organisms which have been moved around the world, damaging their new surroundings.  Think of it as reasonable revenge for the harm these species cause.  The word “invasivore” comes from combining “Invasive Species” with the latin for “devour” as in “carnivore”.  Thus invasivore = one who eats invasive species.

From prehistoric times, humans have had an amazing track-record of severely reducing the populations of species we eat.  Indeed, it seems that much of the time we can’t stop ourselves.  Can we tap that hunger to reduce the impacts of harmful invasive species?  We think the answer is Yes!

Of course, the reality is more complicated than “if you can’t beat ‘em, eat ‘em!” and this blog will explore the many dimensions of this issue in ways we hope will surprise you- and your taste buds.  Our organizing principle is the knowledge –courage even- to harvest, prepare and consume invasive species.  It is this awareness we think will lead to decreasing the impacts of invasive species by preventing new introductions, reducing spread, and encouraging informed management policies.

At the center of the Invasivore approach are recipes proudly featuring invasive species.  But that’s not all; you can also expect exposition and commentary on related topics such as species’ profiles, histories and cultural significance, harvesting tips, interviews with Invasivores-at-large, and summaries of relevant scientific research.  We’ll also be doing round-ups of applicable news and other media to keep our readers informed.

This blog is an experiment for us, and we hope it inspires and supports you in experimenting as well- by keeping invasive species on your mind and on your plate.

Want to learn more about the editors of Invasivore.org?  Check out our bios page.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant # NSF-DGE-0504495 to the GLOBES interdisciplinary training program at the University of Notre Dame.


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  1. Dr. Thad Murdoch

    Great website!

    Over here in Bermuda we have been tackling the lionfish invasion with a coordinated management plan, including promotion of their consumption in restaurants.

    the following local news tells the tale


  2. Philip Thomas

    The Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR) website has extensive resources about invasive species, including species information pages for taxa not only in Hawaii, but worldwide, including many invasive species.

    Please consider including links to our pages as a regular feature when highlighting particular species on your site. See:


    Also, let us know if there are particularly relevant links that we might add to our pages to highlight important information about these species that we may have missed!

    Philip Thomas
    Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR)

  3. David Renzi

    It may be a good idea, but I’d like to see more research on it because of the tenacious survivability invasive plants. Issues with invasive plants include changing soil biology, shading out native plants, and loss of native wildlife, and ultra-developed reproductive capabilities. All these factor together to overtake habitats rapidly. Even if cultivated on farms, invasive plants can migrate into adjacent areas. That being said, invasive plants provide food and supplements. Resveratrol is derived from knotweed, and has been tested on rats as an anti-inflammatory. As well, there may be areas that will not support native plants, while invasives may survive.

    1. Andy

      We agree the more research is needed. In fact, the experiment, writ large is already underway with species like Lionfish and Asain Carp.

  4. Matthew

    Just to be clear, at invasivore.org, we are NOT advocating the introduction of any invasive species, no matter how delicious our recipes may be. We are simply suggesting that invasivory may be a way to make the best of a bad situation and maybe learn a little bit in the process. As outlined in our recent editorial, http://invasivore.org/2011/02/whyinvasivory/ , we believe knowledge is essential to preventing further introduction and spread of invasive species. So let’s keep the conversation going, keeping invasive species on our plates and on our minds!

  5. Rajan

    Yes. Invasive species is the one of the major threats to our native biodiversity. I think eradication/prevention of invasive species is the one of the main step in ecological and biological conservation.
    “We have to stop species introductions to new locations to conserve our biodiversity”

  6. Karan Rawlins

    I love the website. We have certainly hunted or eaten native species out of existence…it is about time we put our ‘bad’ habit to good use. I posted you on our (Center for Invasive Species & Ecosystem Health) blog.http://bugwood.blogspot.com/2011/03/eat-invasive-species.html

  7. Karan Rawlins

    Check out our image database if your ever need a picture. They are free to use for educational purposes. We just ask that they be properly cited. Over 138,000 images and growing. http://images.bugwood.org/

  8. Joe Kern

    Aloha from Hawaii! There are lots of invasivores here, whether we know it or not, because all of our game animals and many of our plants are invasive. I would love to start up a local chapter or group like this, to start getting the word out about invasive species, and also provide some benefit for food sustainability and conservation of native species. I would also be willing to contribute stories, info and recipes from Hawaii.
    Keep up the good work!

  9. Adam Bee

    I like the angle of looking at it that Karan Rawlins and the 2nd paragraph of this post suggest: Maybe sometimes two wrongs do make a right!

    I think that’s even better than making the best of a bad situation– it’s making the best of two bad situations! Two problems solve each other!

    Of course the true situation is much more complex than that, but I think a lot of the underlying appeal of invasivory is implicitly derived from that concept.

  10. Fearless Fund


    Rethinking ‘Invasive Species’: Environmentalism Gone Awry? 2012 Conference

    The ever expanding war on ‘invasive species’ is giving ‘green cover’ to the widespread use of inadequately tested pesticides that threaten the health of the very soil and water that sustain all life.

    It is time to reexamine the underlying assumptions and motivations for this campaign and explore creative rather than destructive responses to changes in our environment.

    Mark your calendar to join environmentalists, policy makers, lawyers, and other concerned citizens at the upcoming conference Rethinking ‘Invasive Species’ : Environmentalism Gone Awry? to discuss this important issue!

    October 7 & 8, 2012
    University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law

    The conference will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and will be held-most appropriately-on Columbus Day when, in 1492, the ecosystems of the ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Worlds were forever transformed.

    This event is being planned and sponsored by Fearless Fund http://www.fearlessfund.info/

    For more information, contact info@fearlessfund.info.

    ‘The war on “invasive species” has been founded more on ideology than science. A conference examining the question is much needed and long overdue.’

    ~Michael Pollan
    Author of The Botany of Desire and The Omnivore’s Dilemma
    Knight Professor of Science and Environmental Journalism at UC Berkeley.

    1. Colin

      Please site this Michael Pollan quote. I don’t believe it exists. He wrote an article that seemed to equate ‘non-native species’ as synonomis with ‘invasive species’ to a sloppy degree, which is disappointing for a journalist of his repute. However it did not contain this quote. If you are paraphrasing, perhaps you should do so, or let your arguments stand on their own merit.

  11. Christina

    Hey invasivores! I love your website but coming from a usability standpoint, a recipe index would be nice. Just a simple button that says ‘recipes’ with a list by topic. Maybe I am missing something? … Otherwise great work and an interesting read. :)

  12. Matthew

    Have you checked out the “Browse Species and Recipes” section under “Features” on the right hand side of the page? Any suggestions on how we could organize the list to make it more accessible?

  13. Melany Vorass

    Hey folks, did you catch the ‘eat a lionfish’ bit on Shark Tank last night?

  14. Sam Schaperow

    Eating invasives is something we do at our group, PlantForagers, to which I want to recommend you check out. You can join, even as a trial to see how you like it. It has authors, a full-time career forager, authors from New York to New Zealand, is the world’s most active Yahoo plant foraging group, and has many other features. So, I thought I should post about it here, given the potentially synergistic commonalities I’m seeing w/your site.

    Thank you.

    Sam Schaperow, M.S.

  15. Tamara Mullen

    Hi Andy,

    I just read the Modern Farmer article “The Joy of Cooking Invasive Species” by Brian Barth, and it was wonderful to learn about what you are doing in your research on invasive species, and also get a shout out for the Institute for Applied Ecology (the place I work) and our Invasive Species Cook-off (my labor of love), highlighted with Jason Biga’s invasive boar dish!

    IAE is a great group of invasivores (if you don’t mind including us in your group) and have taken the lead in Oregon in the fight against invasives. We are already planning this year’s Cook-off, which promises to reach new heights in terms of increasing visibility and awareness within the greater communities, and raising funds to support our research and restoration efforts. Jason Biga is excited to be one of chefs for the exquisite invasive cuisine we will be serving, and Chef Parola has also expressed interested in participating in our event. The event will be held at Zenith Vineyard in Salem, Oregon – http://www.zenithvineyard.com on Sunday, Sept 28, 2014. This is a gorgeous sustainable vineyard, and we hope to get upwards 300 guests at the event.

    I would love to chat with you to explore the many possibilities for you to participate in this year’s Cook-off. There are many ways you could contribute from being a guest speaker or educational exhibitor, to being a chef or an adviser in helping us with USDA regulations and requirements in serving invasive plants and animals, as we would like to harvest as much as we can.

    Please fee free to call me on my cell at (541) 223-3558, or you can email me anytime at tamara@appliedeco.org.

    Many thanks for everything you do, and looking forward to connecting.

    Fundraising Outreach
    Institute for Applied Ecology

  16. Mary A. Bauer

    Don’t forget one of the most successful invasives- Apples! Malus is not native to North America, or England either. There are a lot of tasty recipes for the pretty invader, so eat lots of apples.

  17. Rick

    I love it!
    I would really like to dive into a giant paella, made with wild rice, lionfish, Burmese python, and any other complementary invasive species that cooks up nicely! As a native born Miamian, now living in Atlanta, I have watched native habitat being devoured for many decades… Sad, but its hard to educate the pet lovers and plant people of the dangers the pretty little things in life can pose to an ecology without abundant and natural predators to balance things out. I’m pretty sure no one ever thought what that red Oscar or that cute little “jack-and-the-beanstalk” kudzu plant would do to our native ecology.
    Cook em’ up!

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