July 05, 2007

Foie Gras - A Bird's Eye View


I’ve spent a great deal of my spare time over the past year reading all of the scientific studies and articles regarding foie gras production I could get my hands on, including the studies found here, here and here. I did so because I wanted to inform myself before deciding whether the production of foie gras is inhumane.

Recently, I even toured Hudson Valley Foie Gras in New York, the largest of the three foie gras farms in the United States (pictures from the farm visit are available here). I wrote about my experience for the City Paper in an article called Liver Let Die that was published this week. I managed to snag a quote from famed restaurateur Danny Meyer for the article. I believe this is the first time he has ever taken a stance on foie gras in any publication, so this was a major scoop.

After reading all of these studies and articles and visiting the farm, the bottom line is this: the ducks are not being mistreated and the process by which they are fed (gavage) is not inhumane. Period.

Don’t take my word for it; read the studies and visit the farm yourself. And even if you still disagree, that’s ok. Just keep your opinion off my plate.

10 comments:

David McDuff said...

Hey David,

Nice article in the City Paper. I'm curious, as I'm sure you are, as to what the response will be from Hugs for Puppies, particularly as Nick wasn't able to make his interview with you. Keep up the good work.

cheers,
David
McDuff's Food & Wine Trail

Sandra said...

Did you hear the NPR report this morning about Chinese foie gras? Apparently, they have people force feeding the geese BY HAND. As if that makes a difference. Still, it's gross to think of it being done by MACHINE.
Urgh...

Anonymous said...

"After reading all of these studies and articles and visiting the farm, the bottom line is this: the ducks are not being mistreated and the process by which they are fed (gavage) is not inhumane. Period."

Wow, great work! Maybe you can read some in your spare time and take one visit to a farm to determine whether raising chickens is inhumane?

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the article as well. By the way, another delicious and seemingly cruel culinary tradition that no one seems to mind is seafood. No one is really out screaming about boiled lobster or hardshell crabs. An FYI...I had AWESOME hardshells down at Gayle last Tuesday at the kickoff of their Hardshell Crab night (every Tuesday). It was cheap, fun and the outside seating was beautiful.

Helen said...

GEESE! How about the AWFUL conditions of FACTORY FARMS? THEY are disgusting! Let's go take a look at THOSE !!!!

Dave said...

It seems that your not alone in your pro Foie Gras stance. Bob Delgrosso recently posted a passionate manifesto in defense of Georges Perrier, Chef/Owner of Le Bec Finn, for his refusal to cave to animal rights groups. You can read his article here: http://www.wcdish.com/georges-perrier-please-dont-duck/

Jayne said...

I've taken part in many a cocktail party discussion here in Manhattan whenever a bit appears in regards to outlawing foie gras. All of my chef friends and fellow foodies can't believe it's even being discussed (as if it could ever pass here in New York). I've done my reading, too- and I'm grateful for the birds who get to overeat so that I may do the same!

thanks for your stance. this is my first visit to your site but I'll be back.

Anonymous said...

It must be nice to sit up in your high and mighty chair and deem the foie gras is fine. I'm sure the ducks are greatful.

Anonymous said...

I've also visited the Foie Gras facility mentioned - I was horrified. And the photos posted with the article reinforce the atrocity. I hope you don't have any pets because your ideas of acceptable treatment of animals is disturbing. There are plenty of cruelty-free proteins available to conscientious consumers it's unfortunate you aren't one of them.

Sandra said...

Hi, David, I won't beat you up like some of the other posters (I'd rather pummel you in person, but that's another story, J/K); however,in case you want to try something different, I found this page:
www.nofoiegras.org/faux_gras.htm

Some of those recipes look pretty tempting, don't you think?