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Midsummer House Cambridge


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I suppose the fact that "ethical" foie gras doesn't appear on the menus of restaurants of this calibre is because its quality is sufficiently inferior that (as a 2* or the like) they cannot make use of it -- is this the case? (needless to say, I'm not suggesting for a moment that any reaction to this sort of vandalism is worthy of discussion, just asking as a matter of interest... I don't cook with foie so haven't a feel for the difference in raw ingredient quality between the ethical foie and the real thing)

Ian

I go to bakeries, all day long.

There's a lack of sweetness in my life...

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I suppose the fact that "ethical" foie gras doesn't appear on the menus of restaurants of this calibre is because its quality is sufficiently inferior that (as a 2* or the like) they cannot make use of it -- is this the case? (needless to say, I'm not suggesting for a moment that any reaction to this sort of vandalism is worthy of discussion, just asking as a matter of interest... I don't cook with foie so haven't a feel for the difference in raw ingredient quality between the ethical foie and the real thing)

It depends what you mean by "ethical". There is a form of foie gras which claims to be completely cruelty free: no force feeding at all, it just depends on the geese to gorge themselves as they do naturally in the autumn. That means it is only available December to February so even if a restaurant can find someone to supply it they'd have to either make it seasonal or substitute with the standard stuff the rest of the time. I can't really seeing a restaurant trying to publicise themselves as 'we are ethical for 3 month of the year' :hmmm:

There are also different methods of force feeding: the industrial versus the artisanal. I could imagine a restaurant pushing the fact they use artisanal, hand fed foie, but that isn't likely to placate the vandals.

What gets me about the people who protest against foie gras is that I never hear them objecting to, say, duck confit even though every duck or goose liver produced necessarily also involves the production of breasts, legs, heart, gizzard, pillow &c.

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I can't really seeing a restaurant trying to publicise themselves as 'we are ethical for 3 month of the year'  :hmmm:

Yes, I see your point! This is the kind I was thinking of, I'd forgotten about the limited timeframe for it.

Would still be nice if restaurants would make it clear which type is offered, so that customers can make an informed decision on whether or not to substitute for a foie course: the evolving choices of restaurant goers, rather than the vandals, should determine what stays on restaurant menus...

In general a specific 'provenance' section on menus (not just a vague statement of good intent) would be really good, given the growing interest in sourcing of ingredients -- in the case of foie, the source producer could be named so that you can at least check that it's not the sort of place you see in videos (usually from the States) where the birds have terrible injuries and infections, and are routinely grabbed by the neck and slung about, etc. etc....

Ian

I go to bakeries, all day long.

There's a lack of sweetness in my life...

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What really gets me is that people make a huge issue about foie, the consumption of which, relative to most other food types is pretty much negligible. Surely if they really give a crap about animal welfare they could make far more impact turning their attention to something far crueller and affecting the masses, namely battery chicken?

I can't help but feel that most of these people are either just there because they enjoy trouble and damn the cause, or perhaps there is some deeper class/political stimulus behind it.

If a man makes a statement and a woman is not around to witness it, is he still wrong?

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Getting off topic but does anyone know a good foie gras (french artisanal) supplier in the UK?

You really need to find a uk supplier that deals with the french markets personally ,what area are you in?

Not sure what you mean. I'm not a restaurateur so that would only be small orders for private use.

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Getting off topic but does anyone know a good foie gras (french artisanal) supplier in the UK?

You really need to find a uk supplier that deals with the french markets personally ,what area are you in?

Not sure what you mean. I'm not a restaurateur so that would only be small orders for private use.

Well if your friendly with your local restaurant ask them to order you a lobe through them and pay them in cash

Never trust a skinny Chef

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If you pop down to Smithfield's earlyish in the morning you can pick some up yourself - there are a few good places that will sell to individuals and import from some fantastic French artisan producers. Alternatively PM me (if you live in London).

If a man makes a statement and a woman is not around to witness it, is he still wrong?

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Takes foie off menu..Caterer

Personally, i think it's a fucking outrage that illegal acts force a restaurant to change it's LEGAL practices.Peacefull protest by all means, we live in a free state, express yourself with petions, banners or write to your MP (they are the ones that can change the law) but this situation is wrong.

My full support to the Owners and staff of the Midsummer House, and i understand that they have to protect their premises and staff.

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dont want to say to much as we had them target us and the police have been in to warn us. i personally think its a choice to be made by the customer. i dont attack vegetarians for killing sprouts.

if it didnt sell it would come off the menu. simple as that.

I totally understand.

Bullies always anger me.People going outside the law to force change on legal operations angers me.Disregarding the actual issue of foie, the bigger picture of threatening,bullying, and criminal damage angers me the most.I was threatened by the An Gof people for flying a St Georges flag, and that still angers me.

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that was the reason the police came round andy. apparently they dont like it on toast when they are protesting. just being generous

Good on you!! :biggrin:

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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dont want to say to much as we had them target us and the police have been in to warn us. i personally think its a choice to be made by the customer. i dont attack vegetarians for killing sprouts.

if it didnt sell it would come off the menu. simple as that.

Ditto. We are getting weekly emails, so we are now waiting for them!

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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I used to live with a fairly hardcore ALF activist, crusty vegan type, knew nothing about food, just objected to Foie on cultural grounds, it's posh innit. No point targetting battery chicken farming, as it's battery chickens that sustain the downtrodden working man, whilst the toffs dine on foie and larks tongues. When will the larks tongue backlash start I wonder?

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I used to live with a fairly hardcore ALF activist, crusty vegan type, knew nothing about food, just objected to Foie on cultural grounds, it's posh innit. No point targetting battery chicken farming, as it's battery chickens that sustain the downtrodden working man, whilst the toffs dine on foie and larks tongues. When will the larks tongue backlash start I wonder?

Oysters, Caviar and Asparagus next on the list then I guess!

If a man makes a statement and a woman is not around to witness it, is he still wrong?

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Takes foie off menu..Caterer

Personally, i think it's a fucking outrage that illegal acts force a restaurant to change it's LEGAL practices.Peacefull protest by all means, we live in a free state, express yourself with petions, banners or write to your MP (they are the ones that can change the law) but this situation is wrong.

My full support to the Owners and staff of the Midsummer House, and i understand that they have to protect their premises and staff.

I met some of these protesters in Nottingham a few months ago.

Spoke to one chap who seemed sound enough, but sadly completely miss-lead. I first asked him if he knew anything about the history of foie gras and how it came about, and he knew nothing about animals overfeeding before migration and that it was natural to happen. I agreed that some of the practices in Foie Gras production are terrible, but like many people in this thread i pointed out that there are far worse crimes going on in food production. He was actually quite willing to listen and I furthered my discussion into how i thought it was good that producers are now looking at ethical methods to produce veal and other produce that was previously reared in a manner considered barbaric - although it was not surprising to hear he didn't realise the alternative that most Veal calves faced.

It was after I mentioned the raised standards of meat production in other areas that one of the protesters clearly got angered at my (for once) calm discussion with this chap and decided to start telling me "but it's not ethical because your still eating animals" and another woman started telling me "meat is murder". Neither of them looked like they had washed in months and looked like archetypal animal rights people. They were clearly irate and I decided to leave, and told them:

"well, I'm all for freedom of speech, so have a good evening. But don't make too much noise otherwise you'll wake up the people living around here."

"WE'LL MAKE AS MUCH NOISE AS WE BLOODY WELL LIKE!!!" - vegetable person.

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