Food and Drink

Iguanas as Food: The Florida Solution to an Invasive Species

September 10, 2018 09:11 PM

Contributors

Michael Adam Mora

Iguanas have found the perfect home for themselves in South Florida, with the tropical temperatures and lush vegetation. But South Florida food and drink companies may not have the same welcoming feeling towards these reptiles.

The most common way to deal with iguanas is to call a professional pest removal company to deal with the invaders.

The new trend is to serve a iguana on the dinner plate and devour the scaly green reptile.

But how do you know that they are safe?

Iguanas are not poisonous, but can carry salmonella according to the National Institute of Health . If you catch your own iguana to eat, there is no way to tell if it has salmonella unless it is tested in a lab.

There are markets that sell iguana meat online that are USDA approved that test for salmonella before selling the product, like Exotic Meat Market , which is based in California. On this site, you can find iguana by the pound for up to $59.99.

The green iguana and the black spiny-tailed iguana are listed as an invasive species by Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission , FWC. Main concerns that iguanas bring are damaging plant life and eroding canal walls by building their burrows.

Since iguanas are considered invasive to Florida you can hunt and eat them legally, but the FWC wants to make sure you do it humanely. It said that the best way to kill an iguana is to shoot it in the head or pierce it through the head with a spear.

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