The Complicated Truth About Foie Gras
Should you be eating foie gras... or nah? This is why NYC and some other cities and states have banned the controversial delicacy.
Foie gras is typically produced by force feeding ducks and geese over a period of weeks
New York City will join California in prohibiting the sale of foie gras. Most Foie gras is made of the liver of a duck or goose that's been fattened. It's produced through a process called “gavage” or also known as forced feeding. A metal tube is forced down the throat of ducks or geese to feed them with grain until their liver fattens to 10X its size. This leads to a chemical change within the liver, which creates a smooth texture. The animals are then slaughtered, and their liver is cooked into a pâté. The gavage can leave ducks too big to walk or breathe. Several times a day, they have a 10-inch metal pipe jammed down their throats.
Some cruelty concerns led the New York City Council to approve a ban —which takes effect in 2022. India, Israel, Britain, have banned the sale and production of foie gras. Whole Foods stopped selling the product in 1997. The bill calls the luxury good a "force-fed product" and, in a statement to CNN, councilwoman Carlina Rivera -- the prime sponsor of the bill -- called force-feeding an "inhumane practice."
But not all foie gras comes from force feeding. One farm in Spain makes it from the livers of wild geese that land there every autumn — they are not force-fed. He uses the word "sacrifice" to describe the killing of geese. “Here geese are eating, principally, acorn, and a lot of grass. And all this really helps them to develop more natural fat, grease. Because, every animal when the cold is coming, needs to accumulate a lot of fat in order to live normally actually.” Farmer Eduardo Sousa tells Brut. Cost of Foie gras is $220 per small jar.