Author Topic: Foie Gras in California  (Read 12502 times)

Offline euge

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Foie Gras in California
« on: June 29, 2012, 11:52:18 AM »
I'm paying $98.43 per pound foie gras at the local upscale market. Limited availability, but at least I will still be able to buy it here.

Sorry to say this but there must be some heads up some asses out in California to make this illegal. It should be up to the consumer.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Foie Gras in California
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2012, 11:54:18 AM »
It was illegal in Chicago for awhile.  No longer.

Supposedly, you could still get it "off menu" at certain places, but they were breaking the law.

I have no idea if anyone was ever ticketed or arrested for it.
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Offline m.a.hummel

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Re: Foie Gras in California
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2012, 12:38:41 PM »
I had a small bit of Foie Gras on top of some Filet, and I can certainly do without it.  Not really sure if it should be illegal though.

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Foie Gras in California
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2012, 12:57:29 PM »
I will admit that I struggle with this particular dish. 

I grew up on a farm and I can't imagine doing to an animal what is done to these birds to make the livers for Foie Gras.  That being said, I never really enjoyed trimming (being polite here) and docking pigs/sheep/cattle either but it had to be done.  De-horning was nasty job too but I helped with it also. 

I don't believe you should be able to make a food product illegal just because you disagree with how it's raised.  If it causes disease then fine but it just makes you sad then buck up and deal.

Sorry.  I'll step off my soapbox and walk away now.

Paul
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: Foie Gras in California
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2012, 01:06:31 PM »
I don't know.. I'm of mixed opinions about gavage. Looks violent to me and yet geese and ducks naturally gorge if they can and then you have some vets saying gavage is less distressing to fowl than taking the rectal temp on a cat...

Beyond that, I like foie, don't obsess over it and frankly think too many chefs use it as a lazy crutch for "ohh, see I made the dish decadent!"
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Offline euge

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Re: Foie Gras in California
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2012, 02:19:40 PM »
From what I saw the birds were quite happy with the process. The feeder didn't have to chase them down.

Ever see a mother bird feed her chicks? Looks pretty violent to me. Nearly sticks her head down their throats.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline nateo

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Re: Foie Gras in California
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2012, 02:36:25 PM »
The only truly ethical diet is to only eat fallen fruit. I don't see how raising and killing living organisms, whether plant or animal, is ethical. The difference between a cattle feedlot, an industrial chicken coop, and Foie Gras is splitting hairs, IMO.

I have no problem killing and eating animals, but I don't think it's the "right" thing to do. I think it's neutral at best, or acceptably malevolent at worst.
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Offline bo

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Re: Foie Gras in California
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2012, 02:41:01 PM »
I won't eat it, nor will I eat veal. Got no problem eating meat and I eat a lot of it, but the animals should be treated well while they're living.

Offline tubercle

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Re: Foie Gras in California
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2012, 02:44:05 PM »
I have never had foie gras and not even sure you can get in S.C. Maybe in Charleston at some of the fancier places.

Besides, we would just deep fry it, make gravy from the drippings and serve it with grits. ;D
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Foie Gras in California
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2012, 03:04:35 PM »
I think it's perfectly reasonable for a society to decide that we will follow certain guidelines in our food production system. I hate that the same year that law passed so did prop 8, so people apparently care more about how we treat a goose before we kill it than how we treat our fellow humans but that is another story and FAR to political for this forum.

However I don't think it's unreasonable to say 'you can't tie a bird down and force feed it' or 'you can't feed a cow cement and make it stand chest deep in S**t all day and all night' or 'you can't tie a baby cow to a stake and not let it move for 4 months and then kill it' or 'you can't force chickens to never move and live 6-10 to a square yard and clip off their beaks and claws'

If, however, a farmer chooses to allow their geese to eat WAY too much grain, or to slaughter their calves before they have weened that is a different story. It's all cruel but there should be a threshold.

( I don't eat flesh at all but I do eat dairy and eggs)
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Foie Gras in California
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2012, 03:05:17 PM »
The only truly ethical diet is to only eat fallen fruit. I don't see how raising and killing living organisms, whether plant or animal, is ethical. The difference between a cattle feedlot, an industrial chicken coop, and Foie Gras is splitting hairs, IMO.

I have no problem killing and eating animals, but I don't think it's the "right" thing to do. I think it's neutral at best, or acceptably malevolent at worst.

Believe me when I say I'm a dedicated omnivore.  When you spend 18+ years on a livestock farm you become pretty immune to doing tasks which some people see as "wrong".  I guess my only point is that animals are not the unthinking, stupid things with no feelings that some in this world think they are.  We never did things to animals "just 'cuz" and I don't think that is what farmers who raise geese for Foie Gras do either.  We did what was needed to keep our (and your) food healthy and did our best to make as non-painful as we could.  I just don't think I could have force fed a bird like that. Others can and people appreciate it.  I'm not judging, just admitting my limits.

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Offline nateo

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Re: Foie Gras in California
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2012, 03:22:20 PM »
We never did things to animals "just 'cuz" and I don't think that is what farmers who raise geese for Foie Gras do either.  We did what was needed to keep our (and your) food healthy and did our best to make as non-painful as we could. 

I think the problem people have with Foie Gras is they see force-feeding the geese as unnecessarily cruel, and so the farmers are doing it "just because" people like extra fatty livers.

Morti brings up a good point about what is an "acceptable" level of cruelty. For better or worse cultures have the freedom to define those thresholds. Many Americans have no compunction with executing criminals, but think eating horses is barbaric. The French have the opposite opinion.
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Offline thebigbaker

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Re: Foie Gras in California
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2012, 04:05:02 PM »
Nature is, well, one cruel S.O.B.  I'm not going to go through the litany of very cruel and violent acts many animals do to kill and eat one another.  Take the Spider Wasp for example.  They paralyze a spider, which is usually a Tarantula, and lay their eggs in their abdomens...usually while the spider is still alive.  Once the eggs hatch, the larvae begin feeding on the spider (which is dead by now).   

So for me personally, I have no issue w/ humans killing animals and eating them and I don't mind what one does with his own animals on his own land.  On the other hand, I do have issues w/ those fisherman going out, catching sharks, cutting off their fins, and throwing them back into the water.  Of course my Hawaiian heritage probably has something to do with me hating "shark finning."

Oh, and I have tried Foie Gras and it was not bad but not good enough for me to ever order it again...unless perhaps it was part of some bacon-centric dish!
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Foie Gras in California
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2012, 05:26:32 PM »
I've got it easy.  Can't stand liver in any variety, shape, or form
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Offline bo

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Re: Foie Gras in California
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2012, 02:17:19 PM »
We never did things to animals "just 'cuz" and I don't think that is what farmers who raise geese for Foie Gras do either.  We did what was needed to keep our (and your) food healthy and did our best to make as non-painful as we could. 

I think the problem people have with Foie Gras is they see force-feeding the geese as unnecessarily cruel, and so the farmers are doing it "just because" people like extra fatty livers.

Morti brings up a good point about what is an "acceptable" level of cruelty. For better or worse cultures have the freedom to define those thresholds. Many Americans have no compunction with executing criminals, but think eating horses is barbaric. The French have the opposite opinion.

The criminals did something to deserve their punishment, the geese didn't.