Many of us are familiar with the phrase “eat it to save it” –  a philosophy made popular by New Orleans chef and culinary activist Poppy Tooker that urges us to eat the things we’d like to see on our plates for generations to come.

In recent weeks, we’ve seen just the opposite philosophy take hold as chefs and diners alike are eating various species of fish to  get rid of them.  Chefs in the Midwest are cooking with the Asian carp, the invasive fish species that is reportedly threatening the commercial fishing industry and ecology of the Great Lakes.  Asian carp will soon hit retail stores as well, but will be marketed as Silverfin.  The fish is praised for it’s mild flavor.

And, just this week, the Atlantic Monthly published an article titled “Save a Reef – Eat a Lionfish.” According to marine biologists, Lionfish are threatening coral reefs in the Caribbean by eating juvenile fish and crustaceans that are essential to the health of the ecosystem.   This spiny, venomous fish isn’t the easiest to clean and prepare, but chefs like Bruce Sherman at North Pond in Chicago and Barton Seaver in Washington, DC seem up for the challenge.

Asian carp photo courtesy of