Culinary Solutions to Eco Problems - Joe Roman #154

Joe Roman — conservation biologist, author & editor ’n’ chef of — joins us for the second interview in our informal series on the topic of invasive species. Joe’s research focuses on endangered species conservation and marine ecology, and he is a researcher at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont and a Hrdy Visiting Fellow at Harvard University. His website is dedicated to fighting invasives one bite at a time and is an incredible resource for hunter gatherers who are interested in being apart of the culinary solution to the biological problem of invasives.

In this interview, Joe gives us the status report on global species extinction and shares some potential solutions to conserving our earth’s biodiversity through extirpation of invasive species. We discuss the impact individuals (and commercial operations) who hunt and gather can have on extirpating invasives from their non-native range, as well as the role government management plays in this issue. Joe gives us tactical advice for proper harvesting of invasives and for keeping our ecological impact on native biodiversity as low as possible when we’re out foraging. Peppered throughout our conversation are edible invasive species that you can learn more about and start harvesting right now! We cover a lot of ground in this interview, including a fascinating glimpse into the domestication of the ocean.

Joe’s outlook — based on years of dedicated research and time spent in the field harvesting & eating invasives — is realistic but also quite hopeful. Tune into this conversation to gain a better understanding of the current landscape of invasives!


  • Show introduction:
    • Our native North American caffeine plant
    • Hunt + gather updates: lobstering and coastal foraging
    • Chewstick update
    • Q&A: Recommendations on chewstick species in different bioregions
    • Q&A: Thoughts on blood type diets
    • Q&A: Role of horses in ReWilding lifestyle
  • Introducing Joe Roman
  • Joe shares about his work
  • The status report on global species extinction and invasives
  • Conservation of charismatic species vs the less photogenic species
  • Defining invasives
  • A culinary solution to a biological problem
  • Conservation of biodiversity and managing invasives
  • Joe’s invasive species resource:
  • A forager’s ecological impact
  • Commercial harvest of invasives
  • The domestication of the ocean
  • Predictions on future species extinction
  • Are there invasive species we can eat into extinction or extirpation from their non-native range?
  • Thoughts on de-extinction
  • Joe’s prognosis for the future of the human species

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ReWild Yourself Podcast is brought to you by:

America’s Indigenous Stimulant is Back! Did you know that Yerba Mate’ has a North American sibling? Yaupon (pronounced yo - pawn)––North America’s only native caffeine plant––was revered by the native peoples of the continent’s southern regions. Nearly forgotten, the “Black Drink” as it was called, has re-emerged amidst the movement toward sustainably-harvested local-food.

Meet Joe

Joe Roman is a conservation biologist, author, and researcher at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont. The author of Whale and Listed: Dispatches from America’s Endangered Species Act., winner of the 2012 Rachel Carson Book Award, Joe was born and raised in New York. (He counts King Kong as an early conservation influence.)  For more information please visit

Bun Lai of Miya’s Sushi and Joe Roman forage for invasive species on Long Island Sound (A. Hetherington)

Bun Lai of Miya’s Sushi and Joe Roman forage for invasive species on Long Island Sound (A. Hetherington)