The nation’s first state-sanctioned ban on the traditional French dish foie gras will hit home hard for California gourmets on Sunday.
The delicacy made from gees livers is banned under a slew of new laws due to go into effect in the Golden State at the half-way point of the year.
Foie gras — which translates as “fatty liver” in English — is produced by a practice called gavage, the force-feeding of geese or ducks through tubes until the birds’ livers grow to 10 times their normal size. The controversial practice was outlawed in 2004, but lawmakers at the time allowed producers a seven-year window to wind down both the production and sale of its end product, the San Jose Mercury News
Chefs and restaurateurs, and others opposed to the ban have formed an organization called CHEFS, the Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards, that advocates for a set of standards regarding treatment of the birds rather than an outright prohibition.
"I don't need the California state legislature or a bunch of vegan terrorists telling me what I can and cannot eat," said David Kinch, the chef-owner of Manresa, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Los Gatos. "It should be a question of personal choice."
Foie gras is banned in several European countries and Chicago outlawed it but overturned the law in 2008.
Other measures going into effect Sunday include one which would require car dealers to place bright red stickers on junk, salvaged or previously flooded vehicles; two measures aimed at reducing bullying and one to improve hygeine in tattoo parlors.
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