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Eating in

Putting squirrels on the menu

Lunch time? Dukas/Universal Images Group/Getty

The UK’s grey squirrel population is out of control, says Patrick Greenfield in Mother Jones. Currently, there are an estimated 2.7 million of the invasive rodents knocking about in Britain. But thankfully, chefs think they have the solution: “eat them”. I’ve had grey squirrel on my menu since 2008, says the Scottish cook Paul Wedgwood. First, because it’s great for the environment, and second, because it tastes good. “It’s mellow, nutty and a bit gamey. It’s just a really nice flavour.”

The concept is called “invasivorism” – and it’s catching on. In Austin, Texas, one restaurant is cooking feral hogs that cause billions of dollars of damage to farmland every year. In the Bahamas, Michelin-starred chef José Andrés serves reef-destroying lionfish. At one restaurant in London, chefs are planning on cooking king crab, which reportedly damages British scallop populations. It sounds mad, but the demand is there from customers, says Wedgwood. “I had a guy fly in from Switzerland who ordered a squirrel tasting menu. A six-course menu… just with squirrel!”