California Foie Gras Ban Probably Not Going to Work
There has been a huge amount of hullabaloo about the upcoming foie gras ban in California, starting July 1, but it turns out it might not be that big of a deal. People will still be able to get foie gras, they'll just have to work around a few rules.
Bloomberg called up various police departments around California, and the general response seemed to be ambivalence. "I’m not aware of any plans for us to enforce it," Sergeant Michael Andraychak, a San Francisco Police Department spokesman, told Bloomberg.
The ban states that producing or selling foie gras (the enlarged liver of force-fed ducks and geese) can result in a $1,000 citation. But if the foie gras is free (on pricey pieces of toast or something), it's legal. And if the foie gras was produced outside of California, it's legal.
So this means that chefs like Ludo Lefebvre can serve foie gras as a complimentary side at the chef's table, while others like Mark Pastore (Incanto) and Roland Passot (La Folie) are willing to cook up foie gras that's brought in (with maybe a foie gras fee, like a corkage fee).
Retail foie gras outlets are also setting up closer to the California border, making it even easier for foie gras fanatics. And naturally, animal rights activists are planning on protesting restaurants that continue to serve foie gras after the ban.
"We’re going to come down like a hammer on any chef or restaurant that wants to continue serving this very cruel product," Bryan Pease, of the Animal Protection and Rescue League, said to Bloomberg. "We’re going to make life very difficult for them."
Jessica Chou is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @jesschou.