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wolfgang puck drops foie gras from menu - Page 2

post #31 of 47
Does anyone remember the hepatitis scare at the oscars, it wasn't from the fois! I cant for the life me respect any decision he makes after that. the ban of fois should be the least of his worries. the fact that his chefs cant wipe thier own a** is more of a pressing issue, isn't it?

post #32 of 47
Where does all this guilt come from? We can't talk about expensive things now because somewhere there are people who can't afford those things? How you found a way to slip in a diatribe about the evil empire of US of A in this topic is beyond me. I apologize, I'll be sure to always preface any post referencing food with a statement of "how blessed am I to be able to talk about food when there are people in the world who don't have any" so that everyone knows I'm compassionate and have perspective on the daily struggle to survive, ok? Jeez

Your logic escapes me. Well, I guess I should say that I understand what you're saying, but it's kind of all over the place.

Sure, we can all agree that buying product on the basis of *taste* is a good idea if that's your argument. Great. Or not buying product that's raised in a 'gross' way. Got it. Must be clean. But if that's true then isn't it ok to buy an animal that is treated like sh*t every day of its life if it tastes better? How about if my local economy depends on the chicken factory that cages its birds? What if organic products tasted like crap? Would you still opt for them? My point is simple. You either believe that animals have rights because they have some sort of 'feelings', or you don't. If you do (which you obviously do, as do I) then purposefully raising and killing something which you believe to have those types of feelings either makes us hypocrites or heartless nobs, take your pick. So yes, to me it is hypocritical to buy a slab of beef just because its owner gave it a 'happy life'....because if we believe the cow has the capacity and right to be 'happy' then why do we have the right to kill it and eat it?

Let me try and explain better:

Do you believe that animals grown for consumption and destined for slaughter should be treated humanely? I do. *BUT* If that's true then aren't we worse than the people who don't believe that because we are knowingly killing something that we believe has 'feelings' and deserves humane treatment? My belief is that it has less to do with the animals 'feelings' and more to do with our own. It primarily makes *us* feel better.

If you don't believe that they have any feelings and they are simply a product that we are growing for our dinner table much like you would farm corn or anything else (which is how most farmers that I know feel, including those running organic farms, etc.) then why is it bad that the chicken can't get up and run around? or the practice of foie gras? or kobe beef? It's just a walking storage vessel for my future steak for goodness sake not a pet right?

I personally don't see a middle ground, and I'm not a big fan of wishy washy feelgood answers. This is a black and white issue, but it's made grey by the simple fact that we participate in this ugly practice of mass slaughter and we try and justify it to ourselves. When faced with some nasty fact about the industry we cry foul, and create 'free range' farms (in which the chickens still never leave the barn) so that we can throw it into the shopping cart without guilt. What!?? They force fed a goose just so some rich guy can go to a fancy restaraunt and order it? It must be stopped! Why? Because it's an easy item to focus on that impacts few people but can make us all feel better, and we get to stick it to the rich guys in the process......while a similar practice takes place in cattle lots around the country. But we can't stop that because it would actually make an impact on *us*.

I grew up on a farm. Slaughter and the raising of animals is certainly nothing new to me, but I do believe that animals can suffer....yet I also apparently believe that the end product is worth all that suffering because I consume it right? So yes, I call that being a hypocrite. I also say that if we're willing to kill the animal then all of our fretting and posturing about the 'quality' of its life is also hypocritical. Playing mental games by treating an animal like Bambi one minute, and then acting like it's just a slab of venison the next when it comes slaughter time is a bit schizophrenic if you ask me. Complaining about stuffing food down the mouth of a goose, but having no problem with killing it, and then 'stuffing' it and eating that same goose just seems a bit laughable.

I suspect that most of us would reflexively say we don't want an animal to suffer 'needlessly' right? All I'm saying is that we should think about *why* we feel that way. What if I drugged the goose so that it was unconscious for its entire life? It wouldn't be suffering right? But most of us wouldn't feel right about that either, so it can't just be the suffering that makes us feel uneasy. It's a innate belief that an animal should have a right to some sort of 'life', or what we perceive as normality for that particular creature. We think cows/sheep/etc have it to some degree because we see them lazing around in the fields or their pens and the CAFO's are kept out of sight, but we're upset when we see caged chickens that cannot move. It may not be suffering in the sense of pain, but we're outraged because it isn't allowed to do what a 'normal' chicken does...peck around and eat its own feces,etc. (I'm sorry, but chickens are the absolute nastiest creatures that have ever walked the face of the planet). Yet this chicken may have never seen or been in a natural situation in its entire short lifespan....what is normal for it? How do we know if it's happy or sad? Maybe it thinks it's in a penthouse suite and tells all his friends about how awesome it is that he gets everything brought to him and doesn't have to walk anywhere. Or maybe he doesn't, but what if I could give him some drugs in his feed which made him think he was happy?

I've rambled on again, sorry. The practice of rearing animals for slaughter can be a grisly looking business, particularly the CAFO's, but I'm convinced that we try and ascribe human traits to these animals and much of what drives our feelings on this topic has more to do with making ourselves feel better than the animals.....otherwise there'd be quite a few more vegetarians :)

p.s. In regards to cows, corn and antibiotics/drugs, there are two main reasons that drugs are needed, one is 'natural' (if you can call anything in a feedlot natural) in that the close confines with so many other cattle can obviously create infectious conditions. The other reason, and the one that I mentioned precisely because it's not natural is due to the feeding of such large amount of corn. If you shove that much corn into them and don't give them drugs to counteract its effects they die. Period. I just don't understand why this is not just as bad as force feeding a goose.

p.p.s. - This topic reminded of a great book. I'd highly recommend reading the Michael Pollan book "The Omnivores Dilemma" as it goes into this topic quite in depthas well as the corn issue, the corn subsidies, and antibiotics/drugs, and much more.
post #33 of 47
I'm confused...

Could you please explain how banning foie would end world hunger?
"Hunger is the best pickle." -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac
"Hunger is the best pickle." -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac
post #34 of 47
The context, read, what I was replying to, and read what he was replying to.

My point, was exactly what I wrote. That affluence can lead to overindulgence, and that sometimes we allow extravagance to be our context when we look at the world around us.
post #35 of 47
I read all that. I understand what you are trying to say.

And again I ask... could you explain how banning foie is going to end world hunger?
"Hunger is the best pickle." -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac
"Hunger is the best pickle." -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac
post #36 of 47
Why ask me? I never made such a claim. Did anyone make such a claim? I could probably come up with some convulated cosmic argument, but it wouldn't convince you because I don't believe it will.
post #37 of 47
You don't believe it will convince me, or you don't believe banning foie will end world hunger.

My point is that the attitude of "World hunger is bad = ban foie" is specious at best and the stinkiest kind of cow flop at worst. Yes, foie is a delicacy. Yes its expensive. But so what? Banning it has no effect whatsoever on the politics of world hunger, or the fact of it. And it never will, no matter what.
"Hunger is the best pickle." -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac
"Hunger is the best pickle." -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac
post #38 of 47
I could have been a little clearer. Nope, a convulated argument wouldn't convince you, and nope, I don't believe banning foie gras would end world hunger. I don't think anyone is offering that up as a solution to world hunger.

People of privelege sometimes tend to pick issues which starving people couldn't give a rat's behind about.
post #39 of 47
Okay, which side of this are you arguing... because that's basically my stance on this. Banning foie is the hot topic of the day because people of privelage think they are somehow "saving the world" or at least assuaging their own consciences by doing so.

Which, when boiled down, is just what you said.
"Hunger is the best pickle." -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac
"Hunger is the best pickle." -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac
post #40 of 47
I was not advocating banning the stuff - just stating that, since I had seen how it was 'prepared'.... I choose NOT to eat the stuff.

Works for me!

Doesn't put me off caviar though!:)
post #41 of 47
I've got to agree that many of these foie bans, are completely for publicity, and personally I think it's a real shame that prominent chefs undermine the hard working farmers that have created a valuable market domestically, where there formerly was none. Those who buy foie from someone who uses cruel methods does not truly care about the quality of their food, and what kind of chef does that make them. If your truly concerned about how your food is produced go out and get to know your farmers, walk around the farm, it doesn't take a genius to figure out who really cares about what they do. I guess I'm just saying that it is our responsibility as chef's to educate ourselves as well as others as to food production practices, and to put the true value of well raised healthy food before our food cost. We need to force food purveyor's to follow these values through our purchasing decisions, which in turn creates a larger market for responsibly produced foods.
post #42 of 47

Where is all this going

Ok, one question

Who would eat Organic foie gras ? or being chefs who of us would feel more comfortable preparing and serving Organic foie gras?

I still firmly believe this is a class / status issue.

post #43 of 47
Wolfgang Puck appears to create a health conscientious menu. Removing Foie gras from it might improve his image.

And the labels on his products seem healthy at first glance. No MSG, right?

Wait! what about that fancy phrase "hydrolyzed vegetable protein"?

There is nothing natural or organic about this substance which is abundant in his canned soups.

Check the label for yourself, you will find plenty of it there.

Hydrolyzed vegetable proteins are excitotoxins several times stronger than MSG and are strongly linked to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease.

Sneaky, sneaky!

With this in mind, does it really matter that we don't treat animals as if they are people when they are killed?

My first health concern is for not poisoning each other. When that is perfect, I'll worry about animal ethics.

Seems to me that Wolfgang Puck is more concerned about his public image so he can make $$$ than creating healthy food.
post #44 of 47
I could care less if my foie gras was organic. I care a lot however what kind of quality it is. It really bugs me when someone automatically equates organic with quality.

"Organic" used to mean a lot more than it does now simply because only small outfits were doing it, those outfits were primarily concerned with a great deal of care and attention to their product because of it, which in turn created quality. That is now definitely not the case when it comes to your supermarket shelves, but can be the case at your local farmers market. So, in essence it's just like every other product now in that you have to get to know your product and its producers to find consistent quality. And as far as 'quality of life' ethical issues I'm not sure how organic really means anything at all.
post #45 of 47
Agreed. "Organic", these days, is just as much a "weasel phrase" as "free range" has become.
"Hunger is the best pickle." -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac
"Hunger is the best pickle." -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac
post #46 of 47
It may be so in the USA. But here, all 'organic' goods MUST be approved by the Soil Association.

I've bought and cooked with (mostly) organic meat, veggies and fruit for nearly 20 years. I KNOW the sources and I ensure that I'm not being fobbed off!:smiles:

Here's the UK's Soil Association site
Home page | Soil Association: Promoting sustainable, organic farming and championing human health
post #47 of 47
I was reading this forum for some ideas for my own research essay on Foie Gras. I am a high school senior and for my English class i have to write an 8-10 page research essay on a topic of my choice. I want to go to culinary school after i graduate from high school and i have seen cooking shows on the food network that use foie gras and i know that it was a fattened liver. After doing some original research on foie gras i found more and more information on it. I have to write a paper on the ethics of Foie Gras. I am not sure if I disagree or agree with the force feeding of the animal in order to fatten the liver. So i was wondering other thoughts on Foie gras, and if anyone can help me with my project. you can either reply to this post on here or it would be easier if you emailed me at I have until June 5th to complete this assignment, but we have due dates along the way so as much help would be appreciated. Also if there are any books that i can pick up at our local library that anyone knows of I would love to hear about them. Thanks!
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