Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

savvysearch

The California foie gras ban

Recommended Posts

Does anyone know if ban on the sale and production of foie gras in California after 2012 extends to imports? Could I still import it from NYC or France or from an internet grocery?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think a lot of things are going to change in four years... Kinda early to be asking these sort of questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone know if ban on the sale and production of foie gras in California after 2012 extends to imports? Could I still import it from NYC or France or from an internet grocery?

The ban is on the sale and production inside the state. Interstate commerce shouldn't be affected so you should still be able to order it from outside the state.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone know if ban on the sale and production of foie gras in California after 2012 extends to imports? Could I still import it from NYC or France or from an internet grocery?

The ban is on the sale and production inside the state. Interstate commerce shouldn't be affected so you should still be able to order it from outside the state.

Sorry, everyone. I completely forgot I posted this thread. Thanks for the replies. I do hope interstate commerce isn't affected, and I wonder how the quality will be importing it all the way from France. Although I think Canada also has a foie gras farm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The ban is on the sale and production inside the state.  ... you should still be able to order it from outside the state.
I wonder how the quality will be importing it all the way from France. Although I think Canada also has a foie gras farm.

To say nothing of the ban's underlying perversity (recalling US alcohol Prohibition of 1919-1933, which ultimately increased both average alcohol consumption and the number of its outlets). The Sonoma (California) farm targeted by this ban was known for more humane fat-poultry husbandry than standard European practice. (It's unnecessary to either force-feed or immobilize the birds to grow fat livers -- something they do anyway by themselves, storing energy seasonally -- yet those practices are the mantra of demagoguery against US foie gras production.)

Around 10 years ago, as fresh FG was becoming fashionable in California restaurants, professional cook friends dropped in on the Sonoma farm to see for themselves, when the animals were getting very fat. (No one I've heard from personally who denounces FG ever did that.) They reported their surprise at the realities. (The birds mobbed their feeder in a variant of Hitchcock's The Birds -- it was the feeder who warranted sympathy, if anyone -- and the birds appeared to be having a fine time.)

Ordering FG produced elsewhere would return to the norm before the current fresh-FG trend. In previous decades, much FG for US use came precooked and tinned, from Europe (with whatever poultry-feeding practices prevailed at its source).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a vegetarian and California resident, I can't say I'm really unhappy about the ban. I do think it’s true that this is a wedge issue (and one connected to luxury), much like fur — because most people don’t eat foie gras, and because most people who do are well-to-do, there is a certain amount of anti-elitism involved. I don't think you can entirely quantitatively compare suffering, but I think the argument has been made that in a lot of ways, animals in factory farms (both for meat, but also for egg and dairy production) are probably exposed to more total suffering in their lifetime than the ducks at most of the US based farms which produce foie gras. All that said, I still think that, whether or not gavage itself causes the animals undue stress, that force-feeding animals way past the point they'd gorge on food in nature is not a pleasant business, especially when it's in service of producing a luxury item which, while maybe enjoyable to many, is not really necessary in anyone's book.

I'd definitely recommend that anyone interested in the issues involved read Mark Caro's The Foie Gras Wars, which discusses the ban in Chicago, as well as the farms which produce it. I thought the book was well written and well-reasoned (though he ends up coming down more on the other side of the argument from me). Obviously it's a subject that people feel really strongly about (maybe more so than their actual like or dislike of foie itself).


Edited by Will (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same here. Bought this a few weeks ago (all deveined - I didn't know that was even available).

7264696130_88489bb34f_z.jpg

Went back this week to get this one (almost 1.5 lb!).

7252350120_4f350bbef9_z.jpg

I suspect I will buy more as the date approaches and I start to go in panic mode. :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm buying now because you never know what the price will be when the demand goes high.

And for my special clients.


Edited by ScottyBoy (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm jealous - wish we could get it like that here!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This ban just exemplifies California's penchant for needing to pass laws when it sees that people are enjoying themselves too much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What really irks me is that a lot of us wrote letters to the "Govenator" begging him to not sign the darn thing. He did and I will bet anything that he has no problem having foie gras on his table...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just noting that the gorgeous foie frogprincesse posted is a product of canada. until we californians get this thing overturned, i believe we can still obtain lovely-looking foie from there and ny and other areas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
All that said, I still think that, whether or not gavage itself causes the animals undue stress, that force-feeding animals way past the point they'd gorge on food in nature is not a pleasant business,

Now if they did it for humans certain fast food companies woud be up S%$t creek without a paddle!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yet another reason my DW and I will be leaving this state when she retires.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where will you be headed?  Do you know yet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×