“Simply put, we should eat these species to help control their numbers,” says food stylist Michelle Gatton. “The trend that we need to push is to reclaim our role as predators and not consumers to restore balance to nature.”
Gatton has teamed up with photographer Christopher Testani and art director Mason Adams on a project called “Invasive Species.” The team assembles foodie-approved dishes from animals like squirrels, earthworms, and jellyfish and photographs the haute cuisine alongside the deceased creatures they came from (think of it as an austere before and after series).
People need to be encouraged to eat more non-native species to prevent overpopulation and the disruption of delicate ecosystems. By promoting a project like this, the group hopes to push back against taboos that keep people from eating certain animals in the first place.
“There are already some breakthroughs in foodie venues: purslane in farmer’s markets, lionfish in restaurants in the Caribbean, and squirrel is making appearances in English menus,” Gatton said. “The more we see and experience the unfamiliar, the less of a stigma there will be for eating what today is considered strange, but what will be necessary to eat in the near tomorrow.”