Friday, December 9, 2011

Foie Friday #5: Foie Gras Wars, Ethical Foie Gras in Spain

I started reading Foie Gras Wars, by Mark Caro. The first chapter talks about the beginning of the foie gras ban in Chicago. Supposedly, the controversy gained significant attention from the masses because of a comment Charlie Trotter made about another chef, Rick Tramonto. Trotter had silently removed foie gras from his menu for two years and slowly it became known that he had refused to serve foie gras because of what he had seen at foie gras farms lately disillusioned him. Fellow chefs' responses ranged from support to acceptance to disapproval. Rick Tramonto had the latter view and apparently Trotter said that they should just eat Tramonto's liver because "he [was] certainly fat enough." Since people love scandals and fights, this of course made the news and garnered the foie gras controversy a lot of traction. According to the author, even people who had not heard of foie gras before were then either going to restaurants to eat the stuff or camping out in protest.

I also wanted to share the following video from TEDTalks, which foodiebuddha had also shared with me. In it, Blue Hill's Chef, Dan Barber, talks about an ethical foie gras farm he visited in Spain. The farmer, Edouardo Sousa, allows the goose to roam around and eat whatever they want. No gavage here, and the resulting liver beat its force-fed counterparts in 2006, when it won a prize for best foie gras.

If foie gras farming can be this ethical, then we can have our cake (foie) and eat it too!


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