Environmentalists have a lot of crazy eating habits. You’ve got the hardcore vegans who avoid all meat and animal byproducts, the vegetarians who will not eat meat (but eat dairy and eggs), the vegawarians who eat meat but try to consume it sparingly, the strictly organic crowd, and the locavores who will not eat anything that came from outside a particular geographic radius. Just when you thought you had all of your eco-friendly culinary terminology down, there’s a new environmental eating trend out there: invasivores.
As described in the New York Times last week, invasivores choose to eat invasive animal and/or plant species in order to protect the local environment (and eat local at the same time). In the Florida Keys this has meant eating lionfish, and in San Francisco vegetarian invasivore Rachel Kesel has started eating an edible invasive weed – field mustard. But what would a Middle Eastern invasivore diet look like?
Thanks to fellow Green Prophet Karin who foraged in her garden for edible weeds last year, we have some hints.
Middle Eastern invasivores can start by eating the following leafy green “weeds”:
- Hubeisa (pictured above and called mallow in English)
- Ellet (chicory in English)
- Stinging nettle
Once you’ve foraged for these wild edibles and prevented their invasion, what next? Stinging nettle (if collected carefully) can be used in soups, and chickweed can be used in salads (check out the delicious looking chickweed salad above).
What are other invasivores and foragers eating out there? Please share in the comments section below.
Read more about eating edible weeds in the Middle East::
Edible Weeds in Your Middle East Garden
The Weeds We Eat – Karin Forages in her Backyard
Foraging the Wild Weeds on Your Windowsill: Grow Chickweed