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The Legacy of the Invasivore Movement

On January 1, 2016, the Southern Fried Science central server began uploading blog posts apparently circa 2041. Due to a related corruption of the contemporary database, we are, at this time, unable to remove these Field Notes from the Future or prevent the uploading of additional posts. Please enjoy this glimpse into the ocean future while we attempt to rectify the situation.


Over 25 years ago, the concept of “Invasivore”–a dietary ethic that involved eating only invasive species, or more often, only eating meat if it was from an invasive species–entered into popular culture. Unfortunately, the actual practicalities of being an invasivore made the practice, with the exception of people in highly invaded regions, functionally impossible.

This led to an interesting and welcome change in the overarching dietary ethic movement. By focusing on specific meals, rather the food ethics that defined someone’s identity, people could focus on what’s really important, choosing meals and finding food suppliers that provided the most net-good for a specific region or community. While it was nearly impossible to be a strict invasivore, it was relatively easy to source and host an invasivore barbecue or cook an invasivore meal. We began defining meals, rather than individuals, by the method of production and preparation.

What the invasivore movement really did was make it more socially acceptable for people to momentarily embrace specific food ethics rather than become their food ethics. If you were in the mood for a vegan meal, a locavore meal, a raw food meal, the barriers created by in-group dynamics were suddenly much less burdensome. If you wanted to eat vegan, with exceptions for invasive species or local meat, that became more socially normal.

And the amazing thing, which should be unsurprising today, is that when specific dietary ethics are intrinsic to each meal, rather than being a ironclad lifestyle commitment, more people ate more food that was better for the environment and better for them.

Ironically, as invasive species become even more widespread and entrenched, it’s easier than ever to be a strict invasivore, even inclusive of invasive plants. Invasivory is coming full circle, from an impractical niche concept, to a focal point for redefining food issues, to its own strict hyphen-vore movement. I don’t know if that says more about our cycles of food dependence and education or about the slow march towards global norming driven by widespread, unstoppable species invasion.


On January 1, 2016, the Southern Fried Science central server began uploading blog posts apparently circa 2041. Due to a related corruption of the contemporary database, we are, at this time, unable to remove these Field Notes from the Future or prevent the uploading of additional posts. Please enjoy this glimpse into the ocean future while we attempt to rectify the situation.


Deep-sea biologist, population/conservation geneticist, backyard farm advocate. The deep sea is Earth's last great wilderness.


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