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Hungry Chinese citizens propose tasty 'sacrifice' to save Denmark from invasive oysters

By Ma Danning (People's Daily Online)    14:04, April 27, 2017

After consuming 14 million pounds of lobster in 2016, essentially saving the lobster industry of Maine in the U.S., Chinese food enthusiasts now aspire to expand their culinary horizons in such a way as to cure another country’s headache.

Chinese web users have put forward a clever solution to save Ribe, a small Danish town along the southwestern coastline of the Scandinavia Islands, from an unwanted invasion of giant Pacific oysters.

On Monday, the Danish embassy in China posted an article on its Weibo account, stating that the Pacific oysters that “have been spreading all over Scandinavia since 2010” are seriously threatening living conditions for animals and plants in the Danish Wadden Sea, which is one of their “most important natural resources.”

The post instantly electrified Chinese netizens, who always love to flaunt their centuries-long passion for diversifying food resources.

The proposed solution was as follows: “Denmark can invent an 'eater's visa' for Chinese visitors, offering unlimited entries within 10 years for stays of up to a month each visit. The oysters will be extinct within five years."

The idea quickly exploded, earning more than 10,000 thumbs-up.

“Ha! Five years? Five months is enough," one user commented.

Others have even gone so far as to offer recipes for delicious oyster dishes.

“For the sea delicacy -- charcoal it, fry it, bake it with cheese, stew it with mushrooms, cook it in a pot with various sauces, make it into soup or porridge with tofu," a culinary pundit suggested, earning accolades from many.

Web users also bombarded the original post with an array of pictures of oysters, cooked according to the styles of various regions -- spicy in Sichuan, lightly flavored in Southeast China, baked with heavy sauces in the Northeast and more.

What accounts, at least in part, for the lively discussion is that the economic boom in China has given the country’s swelling ranks of wealthy and middle-class citizens a chance to expand their appetites globally. It is this appetite and economic power that make some of the proposals seem so viable.

“You want the oysters to be extinct, or just endangered? Let us know,” one internet user queried confidently.

The proposal and responses to it grew so robustly that experts even chimed in to acknowledge the plausibility of the “eating strategy." Li Cheng, an expert in environmental management and wildlife, told China News Service that it is actually “feasible and workable” to solve an invasive species problem in this way. His only warning was for volunteers to avoid oysters from polluted areas before they start chowing down.

The Danish embassy in China said today that they will forward Chinese netizens’ creative ideas to relevant officials for consideration, and Denmark can export the oysters to China as long as they get permission. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Ma Danning, Bianji)

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