Despite our recent blizzard, warm weather this year has again put a damper on winter fun. The Ice Festival in Sandstone was canceled for lack of ice. National Pond Hockey Championships were affected. The Beargrease sled dog race moved north to Two Harbors for better snow.
This got us thinking about how climate change affects 'locovore' food. Have animals migrated to new habitats? Do invasive species upset the food chain?
Some people are looking at eating invasive species as a way to combat them. Lenny Russo — chef/owner of Heartland in St. Paul (a restaurant that specializes in local food) — put invasive Chinese crayfish on the menu. He got them from the Wisconsin DNR and was serving them in barley risotto (as they were not so different from American crayfish).
He's also cooked with invasive garlic mustard harvested in Theodore Wirth Park, though it has a strong flavor and must be used sparingly.
Now if only someone can find a good recipe for the Asian Carp, which have been making their way up the Mississippi River — arriving in Minnesota and poised to wreak some serious havoc on the waterway. For more, see the Huffington Post's "Eat the Enemy" series about dining on invasive species.