Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The rich want their foie gras. Could our children be next?

The WaPo reports today on the "rebellion" going on in Chi Town over the City Council's ban of foie gras, which goes into effect today. The rich and those resturaunteurs who cater to them are not happy. Last night "high-end restaurants had special foie gras tastings to protest the ban, and even a few down-home sandwich and pizza joints added it to their menus for the occasion." That'll show em'!

Robert Gadsby, chef at 676 Restaurant & Bar, asks "what's next? They'll outlaw truffles, then lobster, beluga caviar, oysters. [Heavens forfend!] There are diners who eat to fill a hunger urge, and there are diners who eat to be dazzled. If you take away the luxury ingredients, how can you dazzle them?" Yes, what is the world coming to when people can't be dazzled when they eat?

Of course, many people in the world would just like to be able to eat. . . anything. But we don't care about them. Being able to eat whatever you want and never having to know what it means to be hungry isn't enough for the well-healed. No, the rich need their food not only dazzling but also tortured. And pity the poor rich man who told NPR that his 4-year old would now be deprived of having foie gras, which she eats once a week. (Who the hell would give a 4-year old foie gras?)

Maybe, the way foie gras is made doesn't disturb these people, but anyone else with an ounce of humanity in them would have to react the way some members of the City Council did when they were shown "a video by the Animal Protection & Rescue League that depicts the treatment of ducks and geese used to make the appetizer. Among other things the the video showed: fowl so bloated from being force-fed from a tube that they couldn't walk, a bird whose body ruptured, and generally unhealthy and unsanitary conditions." [CBS2]

Alderman Joe Moore says "This isn't telling people what to eat; this is basically a statement against cruelty to animals. It doesn't need to be on menus in Chicago." Hear! Hear!

But what is foie gras you ask? It is the fattened livers of gesse and sometimes ducks. Infoplease describes foie gras like thi"The birds, kept in close coops to prevent exercise, are systematically fed to the limit of their capacity. Under this treatment the livers are brought to weigh 2 or 3 lb (1.0–1.5 kg) or more. The pâté is made by cooking fresh livers, reducing them to a paste delicately seasoned with wine and aromatics and combining it with truffles and finely chopped veal." (Boy, you get a two-fer there, with the veal!)


The APRL happily reports that now, "following in the Windy City's footsteps, Philadelphia may be the next American metropolis to ban foie gras. City Councilman Jack Kelly introduced legislation last week that would prohibit the sale of 'fatty liver' in the City of Brotherly Love and provide penalties for violations under certain terms and conditions. 'Force feeding birds to make an expensive appetizer is cruel and unnecessary, and it should not be condoned in our society," said Kelly in support of the measure.'"

I support you Councilman Kelly and I'll spread the word.


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