Sunday, July 26, 2009

Who needs a $5 foot-long? We got iguanas!

What's for lunch? You're tired of chicken, steak is too expensive and you've already been to Burger King three times this week.

According to Jeff Klinkenberg of the St. Petersburg Times, Sarasota County iguana hunter George Cera has the answer to those sky-high lunch tabs.
“[Iguana]...there are too many. We might as well . . . eat them.’’
Or as Klinkenberg puts it: "No need to stop at Subway for lunch."

And for the herpetophobes among us, Klinkenberg offers these not so comforting facts:
  • Iguanas, like Nile monitor lizards and Burmese pythons, aren't supposed to live in Florida. Now all manner of alien reptiles with no natural enemies are reproducing in the state's southern half as if on a mission to take over Florida.

  • Pythons, which grow longer than 20 feet, are eating alligators in the fragile Everglades — and experts fear that humans one day may end up on the menu. A state-sanctioned hunt commenced recently to reduce a population estimated to be at least 25,000 pythons.

  • "They are widespread,'' says Kenneth Krysko, who studies iguanas at the University of Florida. "And there are tens of thousands of them.'' Young iguanas eat eggs of protected sea turtles, gopher tortoises and burrowing owls. As 7-foot adults, they dine on endangered flora that includes the delicate butterfly sage. For dessert they devour expensive suburban landscape plants.
  • But Klinkenberg says there is a solution: "...there is no law against killing and barbecuing the homely invaders."

    To which I say, let's eat them before they eat us!!

    1 comment:

    1. I am a strong advocate of eating them. Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods have featured them twice, when he was in Trinidad (stewed), and in Nicaragua (grilled whole).

      I think if we could get a hip chef to feature iguana, we would suddenly find South Florida food patrons eager to taste the hot new gourmet taste sensation that they formerly detested as inedible.


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