What is the best way to beat invasive species? Well, if humans managed to eat field rats, mole crickets, snails, pythons, alligators - and other "pests", why can't these undesirable organisms be part of his culinary taste and art?
Golden Kuhol (Pomacea caniculata).
1. Pets turned wild - knife fish and janitor fish. Once fancy pets in aquarium, they found their way to Laguna Lake and Taal Lake. They can be cooked like any fish.
2. Food to pest - Golden Kuhol (Pomacea caniculata). Imported in the seventies as food like the popular French escargot, it has spread to rice fields, where they have developed in a major pest of rice. Cook it with tanglad and luya, better still with gata.
3. Migratory swarms - Locust (Locusta migratoria) moves in swarms, thousands upon thousands riding on wind current, invading fields and forests many kilometers away. They settle down as solitary grasshoppers, remaining in the place, mate and multiply, until the next migratory season. Have you tasted sauteed mole cricket June beetle, gamu-gamu (winged termite)? It tastes the same.
4. Biological Warfare in peace time - Giant African Snail (Achatina fulica) introduce by the Japanese during World War II, now a common garden pests. One time a recipe was prepared on the request of a school head, and all his teachers tasted it - with delight.
5. Fugitive to invader - Asian carp in Illinois, Missouri and Mississippi river. It is similar to our tilapia - Tilapia nilotica and T. mosambica. American will learn to love the carp like we Asians. Just like how we first accepted it when it was introduced in the fifties by Dr Deogracia Villadolid, a prominent fisheries expert. Today tilapia is an important part of the Filipino diet,
6. Breakout from cage - Black spiny-tailed Iguana has invaded Florida. It eats about anything, including birds. When made into adobo, its meat tastes like that of monitor lizard.
7. Trans-oceanic invasion - Lion fish has venomous spines and dangerous to aquatic and human life alike. Origin Pacific and Indian oceans to the Caribbean. It's cooked like any marine fish.
8. Adaptive mechanism of survival - Nutria a rodent originated in South America and has invaded the Gulf Coast, destroying valuable wetlands, and make bore tunnels through levees. In the Philippines the Rattus rattus norvigicus was accidentally introduced and have adapted to city life.
9. Wildlife gone wilder - Armadillo, a gentle and peaceful armored animal of Central and South America is upsetting the balance of food webs, eating just anything, even stealing eggs of threatened sea turtles. They say it's good meat. The closest animal to the Armadillo in the Philippines is the Scaly Anteater which is a threatened species.
10. Biological Control agent gone wild - Toad (Bufo marinus) introduced in Australia to control sugarcane pest, now overruns even homes and highways. This is poisonous, even animals have learned to avoid it. It is for this reason, itspopulation increased rapidly in Australia.
Except for No 10, these invasive species have found their way to the dining table. Man's gustatory delight is indeed the best way in dealing with undesirable creatures. ~