To Foie or Not To Foie, That Is the Question

Just to give you a heads up, this is neither a political article nor is it pushing for anyone to eat foie gras, the large livers of fattened ducks and geese. This is simply a statement that before one decides to consume or not to consume, it’s good to get the facts and at least make an informed decision.

It’s easy to say the raising of foie gras ducks is cruel, but do we eat fast food chicken strips? Would we feel the same way about chickens if we knew how the majority were generally raised? In fact if you see how the Moulard ducks, usually the breed used for foie gras, are raised– the environment is for the most part low stress with the birds eating an all natural diet and given plenty of room to roam before the three week gavage. Perhaps you might put down that mass produced drumstick, that is bred in a small cramped environment, and order up a slab of paté!

As far as the gavage, or tube feeding of the bird, another thing needs to be kept in mind, ducks and geese have no gag reflex, they are used to swallowing unusually large things whole and they store a lot of their energy in the liver. If the process is stopped, the liver goes back to normal size. The tube that goes down the throat, which if done properly, does not go into the stomach and the birds don’t seem to mind. A small portion of special feed is put into a special gullet area that slowly siphons into the stomach, growers just make sure that it is always full for the last few weeks before processing.

I guess it’s either you eat meat or you don’t. Whether a chicken, a duck, a pig, a steer, etc.. These are animals processed for food. By necessity they are slaughtered and eaten. A good friend of mine said that you shouldn’t eat meat unless you would be willing to take the process from beginning to end. Whether you share that viewpoint or not the point is clear, and I’m not talking about abusing animals mind you, but if you eat meat and you don’t go out and hunt it yourself, then it is being raised by growers and ranchers to be fattened, slaughtered, and eaten. Whatever you decide, it’s good to have information in hand before making a decision.


3 responses to this post.

  1. eat more foie!

  2. Posted by pomme de terre on May 15, 2009 at 2:42 AM

    John Paul, have you read Foie Gras Wars by Mark Caro? Good read, worth looking into if you feel strongly about foie, either for or against.

  3. Thanks for the tip.

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