Seattleite Melany Vorass is giving a whole new meaning to the term “locavore”. A former state environmental analyst and current urban foraging teacher living in the Green Lake neighborhood, Vorass has experimented with many local and sustainable foods. She raises chickens, goats and bees in her back yard (everyone in Seattle is allowed to raise up to three small goats, and numerous chickens on their property). From time to time Vorass even eats a few edible weeds and snails. However, her palate has led her to add another backyard creature to the menu.
Melany Vorass and her family have recently found a solution to their grey squirrel problems. Instead of catching and releasing the pesky varmints into the nearby park, Vorass now catches, drowns, and serves the squirrels in her evening meals. Think risotto di rodentia or squirrel stew. Mmm mm. She got the idea after reading about Britain's appetite for the squirrel. After the North American Grey Squirrel was introduced to Britain’s population, and began to overrun their indigenous red squirrel, people started hunting and eating the greys in order to cut their population. Back in Seattle, Vorass believes eating these small creatures is a great way to add variety to her protein dishes and according to Public Health officials, catching and eating squirrels is A.O.K. Although some believe the squirrel is too dirty of an animal to be consumes (squirrels are thought to carry a type of mad cow disease or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease), Vorass and her family are at ease digesting this critter as long as its cooked at a proper temperature.
Seattle has always been the hot bed of movements like sustainable food and eating local. Now, I’m curious as to the next protein Seattleites will forage and serve up for their next meals. Look out Green Lake geese!