Foie Gras production began in ancient times when the Egyptians realized that geese overfed themselves and their liver became very tender, with a melt in your mouth feel to it. They began force feeding these animals with balls of grain. By the time production moved to the New World in the 20th century, the process became more industrialized where they used metal tubes and they were kept in more crowded cages.
One thing some pro-foie gras foodies on the West Coast are not looking forward to, is California banning the production and sale of this delicacy starting in July, giving foie gras lovers less than two months to indulge legally on dishes that feature the product. Many other animal rights activist are counting down the days.
Many chefs and foie gras producers have fought against the ban and the fight has sure been tough. Dinners have been held and petitions are being passed around from one foie gras enthusiast to the next.
Rick Bishop, from Hudson Valley Foie Gras in New York, has been fighting against this ban since it began. He believes that Hudson Valley puts out a product that is treated well from the day they begin raising them until the time they start feeding the ducks all the way to the slaughter. When the duck is force fed in an uncomfortable manner, Bishop believes there is no way that a quality product is being produced, and that is not the case over at Hudson Valley.
“The principle that no harm should be done to the bird and it should have a good life and everything it needs, runs throughout this entire operation,” said Rick Bishop during an interview with us. “That’s the key that you see it for yourself and make your own conclusions as to how you feel about foie gras. What sets us apart from other farms is that we've hired an outside third party, a humane auditor, to come and look at everything we do; make suggestions and improvements, and it’s a continuous process of improving our farms.”
The argument that foie gras is not as inhumane as it seems is not convincing. It looks as though the state is sticking with the ban proposed in 2004. According to CBS, no lawmaker is willing to change the law even though 100 chefs signed a petition on Monday.
Activists will continue to fight across the country with the hope of getting every state to agree to ban the product that is cruel to the ducks that are raised for foie gras. For those who are anti-foie gras, the fight is almost over.
Many chefs in California, including Thomas Keller believe that this will become an “underground affair,” and Laurent Quenioux from Starry Kitchen in Los Angeles refuses to take foie gras off the menu even when the ban goes into effect, according to the Huffington Post. Will foie gras speakeasies emerge on the West Coast?
Interested in learning more.. Please visit www.stopforcefeeding.com