Tag Archives: goose liver

New York bans Foie Gras

Geese for foie grasIn New York City, lawmakers recently passed a bill banning the sale of Foie Gras in restaurants and grocery stores. As voted on, the bill “would prohibit retail food establishments or food service establishments from storing, maintaining, selling, or offering to sell force-fed products or food containing a force-fed product.”  The bill calls for a fine of up to $2000 for each violation, but top chefs aren’t happy about it, and plan an appeal in the courts.

Foie gras is the fattened goose liver that is considered a delicacy in many high class restaurants. Unfortunately it can only be produced by force feeding geese. Animal welfare activists had campaigned for a ban on the grounds that the methods used to produce foie gras are cruel. The force-feeding begins when the ducks are fully grown, about 12 weeks after they’re born. A worker inserts a 6-inch (15-centimeter) plastic tube into the duck’s beak, squirting a soft mix of corn, soybeans and water to the top of the throat. They’re fed every eight hours for three weeks, and then slaughtered.

California banned the sale of foie gras in 2012. That law was challenged in federal court, but an appeals court eventually upheld it, and early in 2019 the Supreme Court declined to consider it further, thus making the decision final. This may pave the way for other states to follow suit. Chicago banned foie gras in 2006 but the ordinance was repealed two years later.

Several other countries have banned Foie Gras, and in India not only is the production banned, but also the importation. However, other countries, notably France, still produce it.

The treatment of the geese needed to produce foie gras is considered particularly harsh, and health groups note that it’s also very unhealthy for us. For anyone who enjoys the texture and flavor of foie gras, we encourage you to try this vegan foie gras recipe!

More Countries Ban Foie Gras – the indelicate delicacy!

GeeseWe are happy to report that India has just joined the growing honor roll of countries which have banned foie gras, or swollen goose, and sometimes duck, liver.

The initiative for the ban got started in 2012 by animal welfare organizations complaining to their government, and documenting the awful conditions that geese and ducks endure while being force fed in order to swell their livers. India has also taken the extra step of not only banning the production of foie gras, but also banning its importation.

Other countries banning the production of foie gras under various laws and regulations include the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Israel, Turkey and Argentina. Unfortunately, countries that still produce it include Canada, China, Bulgaria, Spain, Hungary, and of course, France.

Closer to home, the city of Chicago has also banned foie gras, as has the entire state of California, where it has successfully survived several court challenges and now may be headed for the Supreme Court.

Producing foie gras is considered to be particularly harsh by animal welfare groups, as well as unhealthy by health groups. For anyone who still wants foie gras, we’re happy to say that there are now animal-product-free foie gras analogues, such as the very popular White Truffle Country Pate, made by our home-town company, Field Roast, and there’s also Elianni’s Vegan Pate. Both are available at local veg-friendly grocery stores, or by mail order through several online veg mail order companies. Some of the local vegetarian restaurants also feature an indulgent vegetarian pate. Or, if you like to cook, try this recipe!

Learn more about the California Foie Gras ban here.