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NYC Area Foie Gras Ban


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So are dope dealers now gonna be "slinging foie gras" on the street corner to needy chefs just like they sling crack? ...I can see it now, crack head to fellow inmate in chefs outfit. Man what you in for? Possession..., rock? No foie gras, says the chef....damn, you going down says the crackhead.

Note: All subjects are fiction and any resemblence to anyone living or deceased is purely a coincidence.....

Maybe they'll differentiate between possession for personal use, and possession with intent to distribute. They'll probably double the penalties for anyone caught with foie gras within 200 yards of a school cafeteria.

"A fool", he said, "would have swallowed it". Samuel Johnson

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It would mean that D'Artagnan, the premier supplier of foie gras and foie-gras related products for New York tri state area restaurants and retail would be forced to go out of business or move elsewhere. In addition to no more foie that means no more magret duck breasts, duck bones, confit, charcuterie, or myriad other fancy food items from that essential source. Understand that the burgeoning New York restaurant fine dining scene GREW UP around Ariane Daguin's company. That she has--since the company's inception-- been a premier supplier of all things French, European, and hard to get for chefs--and not just foie!.

If they are the premier supplier for many items french, european, hard-to-get and all parts duck as you say above, they will perhaps not go out of business, no?They just need to charge a bit more for the other duck parts, to make up the lost foie revenue. Any idea what % of the company's profit is due to foie sales, vs all the other products together?

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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If they are the premier supplier for many items french, european, hard-to-get and all parts duck as you say above, they will perhaps not go out of business, no?They just need to charge a bit more for the other duck parts, to make up the lost foie revenue. Any idea what % of the company's profit is due to foie sales, vs all the other products together?

The California law, which also bans production and sale, includes every part of any bird raised for foie gras. I assume it's the model for the NJ law (as it has served as a model for the other bills that have popped up around the country--Washington's another example). Legs, breasts, beaks, whatever. I don't know how much of Ariane's inventory comes from foie gras products other than the livers.

Edited by derricks (log)

Derrick Schneider

My blog: http://www.obsessionwithfood.com

You have to eat. You might as well enjoy it!

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If they are the premier supplier for many items french, european, hard-to-get and all parts duck as you say above, they will perhaps not go out of business, no?They just need to charge a bit more for the other duck parts, to make up the lost foie revenue. Any idea what % of the company's profit is due to foie sales, vs all the other products together?

The California law, which also bans production and sale, includes every part of any bird raised for foie gras. I assume it's the model for the NJ law (as it has served as a model for the other bills that have popped up around the country--Washington's another example). Legs, breasts, beaks, whatever. I don't know how much of Ariane's inventory comes from foie gras products other than the livers.

How can they ban duck! It is a staple in French Cuisine! Love to see the Health Department in California( or hell even in NY) try to fine someone like Thomas Keller for using duck on his menu. Good freaking luck! :hmmm:

Edited by kristin_71 (log)
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It would mean that D'Artagnan, the premier supplier of foie gras and foie-gras related products for New York tri state area restaurants and retail would be forced to go out of business or move elsewhere. In addition to no more foie that means no more magret duck breasts, duck bones, confit, charcuterie, or myriad other fancy food items from that essential source. Understand that the burgeoning New York restaurant fine dining scene GREW UP around Ariane Daguin's company. That she has--since the company's inception-- been a premier supplier of all things French, European, and hard to get for chefs--and not just foie!.

If they are the premier supplier for many items french, european, hard-to-get and all parts duck as you say above, they will perhaps not go out of business, no?They just need to charge a bit more for the other duck parts, to make up the lost foie revenue. Any idea what % of the company's profit is due to foie sales, vs all the other products together?

Foie gras and foie gras related products constitute, they have said, 30% of their income stream. THIRTY PERCENT. That's an impossible gap to make up for with mark-up. More importantly, the duck breasts, legs, bones, gizzards, pates, sausages, terrines and fat etc--which we chefs have all come to know and rely on--and which you have come to expect as constituting the restaurant standard--are a direct by-product of that same specially bred duck. No foie? No nice breast. No foie? No good duck sauces etc. No foie? No D'Artagnan. End of story.

Edited by bourdain (log)

abourdain

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About 2 years ago, someone in the provincial government in Ontario decided to ban "fresh sushi". The mere notion of this caused bourgeois gastronomes like me to go apoplectic and start organising petitions, we went hard after media, got our stories heard, mobilised, got noticed and it went away quickly.

And we're CANADIANS for &^%$$ sake!

Come on America, fight back! You are the nation of Fisher, Beard and Child. What the &^%#@? Is Bourdain the only one willing to stand up for civillity?

Get mad. Get really mad. And then go DO something. They've already got Chicago. Enough is enough.

Malcolm Jolley

Gremolata.com

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Perhaps I'm the victim of too many corporate "synergy" things . . . (well, I already KNOW I am) but . . .

Is there any effort into finding a more humane way to produce foie gras? Any different methods or materials that might be introduced into gauvage? Any alternative that might produce similar results?

Don't flame me -- I'm just trying to think outside the box and see if there isn't something that will sate the appetite, be less stressful for the animals and their supporters, and still not result in a loss of jobs for all of the fine, hard-working people involved in the industry.

Can we step past the passion and try to find a solution? Can't we all just get along?

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Is there any effort into finding a more humane way to produce foie gras? Any different methods or materials that might be introduced into gauvage? Any alternative that might produce similar results?

Don't flame me ...

Can we step past the passion and try to find a solution? Can't we all just get along?

Reasonable thought ... when we have the time for a long-term solution. But for now, we need the short-term goal of preventing this from destroying D'Artagnan, so we can work on long-term solutions.

It IS time to stand up and be counted ... let the legislature know how short-sighted this is ... and, if necessary, to help D'Artagnan move the foie gras operation to another, more progressive state.

Do I remember correctly that the eGullet website has the ability to conduct polls of its members? Should we see what our constituency (and we can separately measure NJ, Tri-state, US, and global) thinks?

Edited by JasonZ (log)

JasonZ

Philadelphia, PA, USA and Sandwich, Kent, UK

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Is there any effort into finding a more humane way to produce foie gras? Any different methods or materials that might be introduced into gauvage? Any alternative that might produce similar results?

Don't flame me ...

Can we step past the passion and try to find a solution? Can't we all just get along?

Reasonable thought ... when we have the time for a long-term solution. But for now, we need the short-term goal of preventing this from destroying D'Artagnan, so we can work on long-term solutions.

It IS time to stand up and be counted ... let the legislature know how short-sighted this is ... and, if necessary, to help D'Artagnan move the foie gras operation to another, more progressive state.

I demand that all foie gras operations move inmmediately to West Virginia :raz:

tracey

yes I wrote my letter and compared the Assembleyman to "Arnold"

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Why the alarmism and panic? If they can't do foie, they're history?? Seems unlikely-- there's still plenty of demand for other duck-related products, and it sounds like they're already good at it. Maybe diversify, add Muscovies perhaps, them's good eatin'.

If the OP was just another rant at the anti-foie people, that's fine, but get a grip.

If their whole business model is dependent on foie, and they can't change, then they deserve to die. I'm not personally anti-foie, but I'm not particularly keen on it either. They can cry a river at the former manufacturers of buggy-whips.

Foie or not, this too shall pass...

edit: Can't type (sigh)

Edited by Human Bean (log)
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Maybe they'll differentiate between possession for personal use, and possession with intent to distribute. They'll probably double the penalties for anyone caught with foie gras within 200 yards of a school cafeteria.

We'll disguise it ... tell the "duck squad" it's uncooked McDonald's burgers ... they won't taste it, so they'll never know ...

JasonZ

Philadelphia, PA, USA and Sandwich, Kent, UK

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Why the alamism and panic? If they can't do foie, they're history?? Seems unlikely-- there's still plenty of demand for other duck-related products, and it sounds like they're already good at it. Maybe diversify, add Muscovies perhaps, them's good eatin'.

If the OP was just another rant at the anti-foie people, that's fine, but get a grip.

If their whole business model is dependent on foie, and they can't change, then they deserve to die. I'm not personally anti-foie, but I'm not particularly keen on it either.

They can cry a river at the former manufacturers of buggy-whips.

Foie or not, this too shall pass...

this isn't about whether we like or consume foie gras or not ... and it's not about technology that becomes obsolete on its own (the buggy whip) ... it's about how far a government can go in limiting what people (both in and out of their jurisdiction) can choose to eat.

This week, foie gras; next week, tofu ("it's Unamerican") ... and eventually, barbecue ("doesn't wood smoke generate carcinogens in the meat?") ...

I'm not going to force foie gras down anyone's throat (sorry for that choice of words ... :wacko: ). The last time the government tried to decide such a private matter was the failed experiment of Prohibition. People should make these decisions individually and not collectively ... and certainly not for a unique national resource.

Edited by JasonZ (log)

JasonZ

Philadelphia, PA, USA and Sandwich, Kent, UK

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this isn't about whether we like or consume foie gras or not ... and it's not about technology that becomes obsolete on its own (the buggy whip) ... it's about how far a government can go in limiting what people (both in and out of their jurisdiction) can choose to eat.

Fair enough.

After re-reading bourdain's OP, it's not clear whether his primary point was the anti-anti-foie rant, or that a well-regarded producer of duck parts might go out of business.

I'm agnostic about foie, but think that the producer would be forced to close shop is overblown.

edit: PS: the anti-anti-foie rant has already been done here. Several times. Same with the 'gummint ain't gonna tell me what I can stuff down my (e-)gullet' thing. Links available on request. But please write your gummint rep to express your outrage. Enclose a large amount of money if you expect your opinion to matter. :smile:

Edited by Human Bean (log)
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Ridikalous!!! :raz:

“So why do audiences love him? Despite his failures, Daffy, like the Greek hero Sisyphus, is a victim of injustice who continuously protests. And it's his refusal to surrender his will to the whims of the conspiring universe that makes him heroic.” (looneytunes.warnerbros.com)

Duck…..Hmm…..Yum!!

On a more serious note, it is a rather frightening proposition that the government is attempting to legislate what we choose to put in our gullet and by what means it arrives there. (It is a shame that the politicians will spend more time on such an issue as this versus some of the social ills of our time.) Small businesses face increasing odds against survival these days and it is a shame that in the name of political correctness (or whatever phraseology you choose) more emphasis is placed on the sustenance of the ducks and geese versus the owner and 120 employees. Not to mention our rights of choice as citizens and diners, think we're crossing a line here. Absurd!!!

.....But hey, I was always partial to Bugs anyway....Hmm....Rabbit...Yum!!!!!

By the way, speaking of protesting and raving against the injustice...Where is Ruhlman?

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And with the NYC Board of Health wanting to ban all but minute quantities of trans-fats from all restaurant products, pretty much ruining french fries and baked goods as a food source, it's just a matter of time before we'll all laying teats-up in the park, chewing our cud and wishing for the smallest taste of anything greasy and good.

I don't eat foie gras, doubt that I WOULD eat it, but I really don't think it's some New Jersey sprout-eater's job to keep me and those who might eat it from eating it. This is AMERICA, dammit!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“A favorite dish in Kansas is creamed corn on a stick.”

-Jeff Harms, actor, comedian.

>Enjoying every bite, because I don't know any better...

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And with the NYC Board of Health wanting to ban all but minute quantities of trans-fats from all restaurant products, pretty much ruining french fries and baked goods as a food source, it's just a matter of time before we'll all laying teats-up in the park, chewing our cud and wishing for the smallest taste of anything greasy and good.

do you mean to say that you can't make good french fries or fried food without trans fatty acids? :shock:

Edited by tommy (log)
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Am I the only one who can't get too excited about this? Foie gras is delicious, but I have it less than once a year. Its banning would be highly regrettable on many counts, but would hardly end fine dining! Isn't the thread title a histrionic exaggeration? :wink:

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I may eat fois once a year (which I don't, I probably have some form about once a week) It would probably be consumed in a fine dining setting. While a ban on fois will not cripple fine dining it would certainly put a kink in it. High end cuisine is defined by high end ingredients and preperations. Taking away a favored tool, an expensive menu item, and a classic ingredient is something to be up in arms about! What if they take away our wine!

I just don't like people mucking about in my culinary yard, while there are minefields afoot.

Am I the only one who can't get too excited about this? Foie gras is delicious, but I have it less than once a year. Its banning would be highly regrettable on many counts, but would hardly end fine dining! Isn't the thread title a histrionic exaggeration? :wink:

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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The question here that's interesting to me is: why New Jersey? Unlike California, New Jersey is not (at least I don't think it is) a significant foie gras producer. And unlike Chicago it's not (again, at least this is my educated guess) a significant foie gras consumer. So long as foie gras remains legal in New York, there's very little that can be done by this legislation other than to force D'Artagnan to relocate part or all of its operation from Newark to Long Island City, costing New Jersey jobs and revenue.

The larger concern seems to be that the anti-foie-gras lobby, which is a proxy for the animal rights lobby and is only going after foie gras because it's an easy target (rich dilettantes eat it, it's expensive, the way it's made is weird and it has a French name) and a potential beachhead, is mounting similar campaigns in many states. Similar legislation is working its way through the systems in Hawaii, Washington and Massachusetts. It may fail in all cases, but it may succeed in one -- and then another and another. It may be that the minority interests whose personal and economic freedoms are threatened by these bans don't actually have enough power to protect themselves in places without significant fine dining industry presence. Federal legislation to protect traditional farming practices, rather than an exhausting and repetitive state-by-state campaign, may ultimately be the answer.

I don't put much stock in the "I rarely eat foie gras so I don't care" attitude. People should care. A lot of people only have sex, read a book or take a vacation once a year -- or less. Doesn't mean that banning those things would be okay. Nor is public policy supposed to be determined by self-interest. I'm sure my quality of life wouldn't be diminished in any noticeable way by banning foie gras -- I'd just eat more veal and caviar to compensate -- but I'm still opposed to the regulation because it's wrong. Likewise, I'm sure the fine dining industry would be hurt very little by a ban -- D'Artagnan would take a big hit but surely survive, restaurants would make small menu adjustments and all would be well -- but that doesn't make the ban okay. It's still an unacceptable, misguided and opportunistic political power play that should scare the heck out of anybody who believes people should be able to choose what they put in their bodies.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Fully in agreement with FG's post but to assume that

"D'Artagnan would take a big hit but surely survive"

is a leap of faith. Why would or should they take a big hit? And just how big a hit would that be? Let's be clear here--and stress something that a lot of posters seem to be missing: The entire D'Artagnan business model--though "only" 30% foie products--is based around--or principally emanates from-- a duck breed which was raised specifically for foie. The whole DUCK, ultimately--not the liver--is under threat. It's like asking Kentucky Fried Chicken to continue to do business without chicken. (Hey--you can still make money on the soft drinks!)Costs associated with moving facilities, severance pay, training of new employees, hiring , conforming to new licensing requirements--likely higher rents, transportation and so on might well be prohibitive. Particularly in the current environment. Let us remember that Hudson Valley Foie Gras in NY and Sonoma in Cali. are ALSO dealing with serious challenges. Should the NJ law be allowed to pass, prospects for any long term home in another state would be something of a gamble. Few in the artisanal foie production business--speaking privately--will express much confidence that it will be business as usual in ten years.

Should the bad guys win in NJ, and with prospects as gloomy as they are (and a NJ ban would surely make those prospects gloomier)--many, if not most businessmen could scarcely be blamed for simply deciding to fold up their tent and go home.

Personally? Faced with relocation in these difficult times? I'd say "Fuck it. You can all go back to those skinny, grey, frozen Long Island ducks of old. Buy your freaking foie in a can--imported. And sorry about all those squabs and pheasants and that Scottish game and nice morels and white asparagus and fresh truffles and other goodies we've been getting you all these years--nobody works here anymore."

Unreasonable, hysterical, worst-case scenario? Maybe. Maybe not. They're already talking about taking your biscuits away in NYC. The "where does it all end?" question is weighing very heavily on the minds of people like D'Artagnan. Beyond asking "where" can one relocate these days , one must also ask "for how long?"

How things go in NJ might well be the canary in the mine shaft.

Edited by bourdain (log)

abourdain

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I find it hard to get worked up about the "slippery-slope" argument (it tends to take emphasis away from the particular case and it's hard to avoid sounding hysterical, no matter how justified).

The proposed law is ridiculous enough on it's own (de)merits.

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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