Pollinators and Pizza

8f22a181-f17e-4f28-88c5-24fb88b7dede What do you get when you combine pizza, pollinators, and wild game? Besides a delicious and nutritious meal, you also get a fun activity to play with the family!

Did you know that pollinators are responsible for 1 out of every 3 bites of food we eat? And that’s daily! This makes pollinators essential to global food production. Pollinator habitat also makes excellent upland bird brood habitat, so what’s beneficial for the butterflies and the bees is also important for the birds.
 
Unfortunately, many species of native pollinators continue to decline at an alarming rate, which is why it’s important to share this information with others, so more people are aware and can take steps toward creating beneficial and vital pollinator habitat on their own.

Ready to begin? Grab your aprons and ingredients and follow the recipe below:
 

Pollinator-Free Pizza

1. Gather all ingredients needed for below recipe.
2. Discuss which ingredients everyone thinks is made possible by pollinators (answer key provided after recipe).
3. Place all pollinator-required ingredients that have been discussed to the side – attempting to create a “pollinator-free pizza.”
4. After ingredients are removed that are made possible by pollinators, discuss with the family how the remaining ingredients would be the only items available for consumption in a world without pollinators.
5. Discuss what you can do to create pollinator habitat on your property – so you can continue to enjoy recipes like the one below! 

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Blueberry Grouse Pesto Pizza 

(compliments of Bob St. Pierre – PF/QF Vice President of Marketing)

Ingredients
• ¼ cup Pesto (enough to cover the crust)
• ½ cup grilled and cubed grouse breast or a set of grouse legs shredded (can substitute other poultry/wild game)
• ¼ cup of wild picked Northwoods blueberries (store bought works as well)
• ¾ cup of mozzarella cheese
• ¼ cup of parmesan cheese
• Pizza crust (I prefer Green Mill’s original)

Pesto Preparation 
• 1 ½ cup of basil leaves (no stems)
• 2 ½ garlic cloves
• ¼ cup pine nuts
• ¾ cup parmesan cheese
• ½ cup olive oil
Pulse ingredients in food processor and slowly drizzle olive oil until you reach a thin paste texture.

Pizza Preparation
1. Preheat oven according to crust instructions (425 degrees)
2. Spread pesto over crust
3. Evenly spread grouse meat and blueberries over the pizza
4. Cover with mozzarella cheese
5. Bake according to crust thickness (8 to 12 minutes)
6. Sprinkle parmesan cheese
7. Bake an addition 1 to 2 minutes until parmesan cheese melts
 

Answer Key

• Pesto
• Blueberries
• Mozzarella cheese – Wait, CHEESE? That’s correct, dairy cows feed on a variety of forage, including alfalfa, that require pollinators to survive. 
• Parmesan cheese
• Basil
• Garlic
• Olive oil
• Grouse – Yep, you read that right! Grouse chicks feed on soft-bodied insects. And you already know that good pollinator habitat = good upland bird habitat!

Now that you've learned how important pollinators are to both food production and upland birds, take the next step and plant your own backyard pollinator garden with one of our backyard Pollinator Bears!