Chefs Fight California Foie Gras Ban

More than 100 California chefs have signed a petition against the nation's first ban on foie gras

Thomas Keller, Hiro Sone, Ludo Lefebvre, and Corey Lee are just a few of the 100-plus California chefs who have announced their opposition to California's July 1 foie gras ban.

Calling themselves the Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards, the group has released a charter proposing new rules for feeding geese and ducks, to create humane foie gras.

The charter includes measures for raising geese and ducks in cage-free environments, and stipulates that, "Birds are to be hand-fed in a manner that is adapted to their age and size... so that the amount of feed may be optimized as opposed to maximized."

Opponents of the ban claim that wild geese and ducks naturally gorge themselves before migration. Other chefs, like Douglas Keane, found fowl to be perfectly comfortable while being fed through a tube up to three times a day.

"As a chef and a farmer, the ban doesn't make sense to me," Michael Chiarello of Bottega told the San Francisco Chronicle. "But as a businessman, I get it. The idea of trying to get through the shell of large agribusiness is almost impossible, so they go after the one one-hundredth percent of all animals consumed in the state."

The full charter and all 100 chefs' names can be found at San Francisco Chronicle. Proponents of the ban claim that force-feeding geese is cruel and inhumane. Only one person has been able to naturally create humane foie gras, but even Dan Barber can't replicate the process.

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And what does all that force feeding do to the rest of the meat?
I've had foie gros - it's an excuse to charge 10 times the rate for good chopped liver at a Jewish deli by using a French word instead of gehocke leber.
And why aren't all those chefs up in arms about the hideous and unsanitary conditions that many of the poultry use live in?

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