Viewers of This Morning were left outraged – and slightly queasy – after a dish containing grey squirrel was cooked up and eaten live on the TV. You can see the bizarre dish in the video below:
It all comes from a call by the Exmoor Squirrel Project to help save the red squirrel by killing and eating the invasive grey squirrels that have sent the native red squirrel population plummeting.
We can all agree that the red squirrel needs saving, but not everyone is going to agree to start shooting squirrels in the park and bringing them home for tea.
Naturally, the suggestion that we eat squirrel risotto has gone down poorly with those who were watching today.
Representatives from the Exmoor Squirrel Project, based in Devon, showed up on the show to justify their campaign, telling people that we need to ‘save the red squirrel’ by eating up the grey ones, which are considered vermin.
The group seem to know exactly what they’re doing – it’s a classic PR move to generate headlines such as this one to bring fresh eyes to their cause.
Still, did it really need a squirrel dish to be prepared on ITV not long after people would have been done with their breakfast?
Schofield even admitted that he expected Twitter to ‘explode’ after the squirrel cookery came up, and Holly was clearly not too happy about the idea of eating it.
Schofield was right, too.
Quickly, viewers were furiously typing away calling the whole thing ‘appalling’ and ‘illogical’ amongst other things.
Even Holly admitted that she couldn’t ‘get her head around it’.
During the segment, Schofield went over to Vickery and asked what he was making, to which the chef responded: “Do you really want to know? Squirrel. I am going to try and cook a squirrel."
Phillip said: “We ought to explain before Twitter explodes.
“This actually part of - I think it's Exmoor - who are trying to save our native red squirrel and all imported grey squirrels have killed them off"
Holly added: “Eat them to defeat them.”
Phillip, seeming more up for it than many others, then added: “Absolutely.
“My view to that is what is the difference between a rabbit and a squirrel that climbs a tree, they produce much damage to the environment you could argue.
“It's organic meat like venison so why not try it? It's actually quite tasty."
Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, then.
According to the This Morning Twitter account, squirrel meat is also lower in fat content and a good source of protein, so there’s that too.
Most aren’t convinced though, with one writing: “Poor squirrels.”
Another said: “Squirrel risotto? That’s appalling.”
A third wrote: “No I couldn’t eat a squirrel!
“I feed them where I live and I like them so I couldn’t!”
Well, if you want to save the red squirrels, that’s apparently what we’ve all got to do.
When the supermarkets start sticking it, perhaps we’ll see an explosion in squirrel cuisine.
At the moment though, it seems unlikely.Featured Image Credit: ITV