Will the California Foie Gras Ban Really Be Enforced? | CookingDistrict.com

Will the California Foie Gras Ban Really Be Enforced?

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Photo by danielP2008
California’s ban on foie gras goes into effect July 1, and lovers of the French delicacy have been clamoring to get their fix before it disappears from menus and markets. But even as chefs and diners prepare for foiemaggedon, there are signs that the law may have a number of loopholes and that no one is all that keen to be enforcing it in the first place.

The law prohibits the production or sale of foie, not possession. Many are interpreting this to mean that if foie gras were to be legally procured in another state and then be brought to a restaurant in California, then it technically wouldn't be contraband, so long as it was not sold for cash money. The thinking is that it could be served as an amuse, or a free side to a dish. Or the complimentary topping to a really expensive piece of toast. This is a tactic that was used by Chicago chefs before the city's 2006 anti-foie law was overturned in 2008. A whole "duckeasy" culture and language sprung up to get around the rules — one restaurant had a Turtle Soup club, where members would hand over a card with a turtle on it to order foie, others had code names like "special lobster" or "$16 roast potatoes", while others offered the dish as a verbal special so that there would be not written proof of the contraband on offer.

According to Bloomberg, California chefs trying such tactics won't have to worry about law enforcement going after them. The LAPD and SFPD don't plan on investigating any foie 911 calls, and as long as the foie is produced out of state, representatives from state animal welfare organizations don't plan on citing chefs for mere possession either.

Animal rights activists are not so easily appeased and are vowing to protest any under the table foie.


chiefie2411 • 06/27/2012
This is absurd
haisoodewa • 06/27/2012
"I'd rather be a force-fed duck than a Tyson chicken." -PW
eciciotte001 • 06/27/2012
I am obsessed with foie being banned in Califrankly am totally perplexed as to whyif you need to read an excellent perspective, read Incanto's Chef Pastores letter the R Spot, how can the government be so persuaded by animal activistsc r a z y shit.
kfournier001 • 06/27/2012
I don't understand how the government gets off, making any food source illegal. Maybe the time and money should be spent on education to fight obesity. Vegetarians don't want meat, its their choice, don't try to impose it on everyone else
bobdelgrosso • 06/28/2012
I have been involved in the production and retail end of the foie gras trade for a few years, and I can tell you this ban is going to cause problems far beyond the borders of California.We in the East are very much not looking forward the the effect this is going to have on our business, never mind the renewed sense of mission it has given those who would like to see us force-fed like geese until we capitulate. But I'm optimistic that the ban will not stand. As long as people in Ca are willing to defy it and we continue to fight it in the courts as well as on the pages of blogs like this and other media it will eventually go down. Just think of the hard time that the State of Ca justifying enforcing a ban on duck liver with anything close to the attention they have to pay to gangs, cigarette boot-leggers, drug dealers, drunk drivers and Lindsay LohanOne licks one's lips in anticipation
rnuccio • 07/24/2012
If you take a moment to look up a video of exactly how they feed the ducks to produce this product you might never eat it again. The procedure is very horrific and cruel. Just saying....might do a little research just so you are really up on the product.
haisoodewa • 07/24/2012
I've seen many of the videos, met a few of the producersstill stand by the quote I posted above. 100%.
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