Save a Species. Eat it!

You don’t have to be a free market ideologue to realize that markets are the best means of saving endangered plants and animals.  Reports the New York Times:

SOME people would just as soon ignore the culinary potential of the Carolina flying squirrel or the Waldoboro green neck rutabaga. To them, the creamy Hutterite soup bean is too obscure and the Tennessee fainting goat, which keels over when startled, sounds more like a sideshow act than the centerpiece of a barbecue.

But not Gary Paul Nabhan. He has spent most of the past four years compiling a list of endangered plants and animals that were once fairly commonplace in American kitchens but are now threatened, endangered or essentially extinct in the marketplace. He has set out to save them, which often involves urging people to eat them.

The principle is simple.  If there is demand for something, and money to be made from creating and protecting it, it–whatever “it” is–will prosper.  If only politicians would remember this lesson before interferring everywhere else in the economy.