Foie Gras: Gone Again?


Anyone have a link to the decision?


Believe this is it:


Geezus, no wonder they lost.


So, from what I can tell, you can’t produce, sell or consume foie gras made by force feeding. It’s the practice of force feeding that’s been banned. But assuming natural fed foie gras is purchased, then restaurants can serve it to customers. Did I understand it correctly? I remember reading a couple years ago that there are several natural fed foie gras farms in Europe. Why can’t we do the same here?


Example from Spain:


What absolute crap. You can blame this on Peta. They have pix of birds being force fed and I’ll bet it was staged. All migratory birds from humming birds to geese gorge before migration time to build up bulk and fat prior to the long migratory flight. Hummers take on enough to put themselves in torpor. Even though we have domesticated geese and ducks it is genetic and they will do it. I had wondered if some of the anti-foie people imagine that the livers will only be harvested and the rest of the birds be given to dog food producers or something akin. And…if they are going to ban duck and goose livers why aren’t they banning other livers such as calves livers? If you want to talk about cruel treatment to animals they are inhumanely treated on big producers farms.The calves are raised in small, oh there must be a name for it, but I’ll call them incubators, they are small and enclosed, a calf cannot move around, 1 calf per unit and are fed and watered until slaughter time. But I digress, so Calif. would be okay with eating ducks and geese but just not their livers?


In Montreal Pied au Cochon gilds the lily on the now “in” dish called Poutine. They top it with foie! Next trip back to Plattsburgh, NY we are going there. It is just 45 mins. drive to Montreal. I could make it myself but I like going to the source first. I had my first Poutine in the late 70’s in Montreal. Now it has gotten so popular that even the food places in the rest areas on the highway between Toronto and Montreal such as Burger King have it.


Correct. The plaintiffs argued otherwise but the law was pretty clearly meant to ban only foie gras made by force feeding. From what I understand, there is at least one natural foie gras farm in Spain, but efforts to replicate the process in the U.S. have been unsuccessful. Here’s a great This American Life from a few years back about one such effort by Dan Barber of Blue Hill:


I just tried to order foie gras from Amazon and feedback read: “This item cannot be shipped to your selected location.”
Five minutes earlier UPS delivered to my door the exact same item from Hudson Valley .
So who’s right / wrong ?

(I’m in CA, both vendors in NY)


That’s odd. Scratching my head over what the rationale could be. Maybe just overly cautious. I read something that indicated that Hudson Valley is pretty aggressively fighting this.

ETA: Their website: “WE CAN NOT SHIP TO CALIFORNIA PER AMAZON REGULATIONS - Please do not buy if you live in CA”


That seems to me is the key here…


It’s so weird.

There is this visceral, almost angry (or is it “hangry”) reaction to the foie gras ban.

Yet, the reaction to the shark’s fin ban is almost met with a sense of mirthful ennui, if not outright joy.

Humans, such interesting creatures.


The way it’s harvested, shark fin is both cruel and remarkably wasteful. Assuming the practice from those old movies is still valid, sharks are caught, definned, and thrown back in to the ocean to drown/become chum. This would be analogous to foie only if the goose/duck were given a liver resection and then disposed of. It’s my understanding that foie is NOT made that way. I hope.

Though I’ve never tried it, the writing I have read about shark fin soup is that it doesn’t actually offer much in the way of unique flavor. Most writeups say that the fin is virtually tasteless, and what it contributes is a gelatinous texture, halfway between chewy and crunchy. It also mentions that there is now synthetic shark fin available that mimics the texture without the environmental disaster of commercial shark fin harvesting.

If/when someone comes up with a way to replicate foie using ‘normal’ feeding methods or fancy techniques, I’ll happily let a ‘traditional foie’ ban go through. Til then, though…


Another huge difference - geese are a domestic animal raised by humans. Their numbers are determined by those that raise them.

On the other hand, sharks are not. The laws of nature determine shark populations.

Geese reach breeding age at 1-2 years. They lay 30-80 eggs a year.

Sharks - let’s take the grey reef shark - common throughout many parts of the world. 7-11 years to reach reproductive age. Females produce up to six pups about once every two years.

Domesticated geese play no true role in any natural ecosystem. Sharks do.

You folks are a smart bunch. Draw your own conclusions.


Because you are wasting 95% of the animal for a few bowls of soup.

Federal law and nearly all U.S. (and Canadian) states have regulations against wanton waste and willful destruction of wildlife. Ethically, this should extend to the hunting of wild sea life.

[Disclaimer: I ate shark-fin soup once when I was young, at a banquet.]


I see we have lots of artists here.

Draw as many lines as one is wont to do, but they’re just excuses masquerading as self-fulfilling justifications.


In your always never humble opinion of course.


No, they aren’t.

What is your opinion?


This: “but they’re just excuses masquerading as self-fulfilling justifications.”


I’m a laissez-faire libertarian.

People should eat what they want, when they want, and how they want.

You only live once, live it well.

If you want to eat foie gras, dusted with bonito flakes from bluefin tuna, served on shark’s fin chips, go for it.

Because you know what? At the end of day, no matter how one justifies it, the thing being eaten, has died because someone decided to eat it.