Foie a bit of common sense

York, it has to be said, is unlikely to see a sudden influx of Prohibition-style gangs fighting vicious turf wars over which restaurants they’ll illegally supply foie gras to [1]. Geese may die, but no humans were harmed in the making of this legislation.

But, as Matthew Fort gives a good fist of arguing, the councillors priorities should lie elsewhere.

Banning the production won’t stop a foie gras lover visiting Halifax or Leeds to get their fix. And, let’s face it, this has all the hallmarks of a classic ‘Don’t Touch the Red Button’ situation.

The Californian measure of banning the sale of foie gras from birds that have been force fed is an infinitely more sensible and measured way of dealing with the situation [2] as it allows diners to have their metaphorical cake [3] and eat it. Hell, it may even educate the ethically unsound consumers to the point that they repent completely.

But no. As nobody’s thinking of the children or our wastelines, instead assuming we need protecting from these horrors, banning it is the only logical answer. Even God’s on their side, and if even Catholic dogma condemns the foodstuff, who are we mere mortals to argue?

But it’s a rather easy (food) fight, in a way. Foie gras is something most of us would never dream of ordering at a restaurant [4]. Rich people eat it, which is a tad trite, old chap, so we’re only banning people from having fun. You try banning Tesco’s value mince or Sainsbury’s processed chicken rolls and watch an army of angry mothers beat down your door with a giant turkey twizzler.

I’m not in favour of banning one or the other [5], largely because any measure would most as likely be counter productive, especially in terms of public perception via The Express [6].

No, far better we try and teach people why we shouldn’t be eating either, if that’s not your cup of tea. But even then, there’s no guarantee the educators would be able to tell your finest Stilton, which would go nicely with a vintage Port, apart from plastic cheese slices [7].

[1] And no, I wouldn’t bloody touch the stuff, even if I reverted to my meat eating ways. Pates, and foodstuff of a similar ilk, have always been one of the few things I really can’t stomach. I’ve tried it once (In France, where else) and hated it. That does not mean I’ll be picketing restaurants in the coming weeks, though.

[2] And when did this become a situation? And how does something reach ‘situation’ stage? And when does a ‘situation’ become a crisis? 

[3] Somebody out there will cook it and if somebody’s cooked it, somebody will eat it. Probably Heston Blumenthal for the former, at any rate.

[4] At least not at the restaurants I can afford to frequent. I’d be perfectly happy if somebody paid me to be in the position where I could afford to contemplate ordering the delicacy.

[5] Although would rather people could trace their food a lot better, even if it does from the bowels of Satan himself. At least every group, bar devil worshippers, would have a point if they boycotted the product.

[6] It’s political correctness gone mad, etc etc. 

[7] Other than E numbers I have absolutely no idea what these are made from, and probably don’t want to. If rennet is involved, I’ll be shocked. 

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1 Response to “Foie a bit of common sense”


  1. 1 Matt January 31, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    I’ve read this post through four times now and despite understanding it as I go through I get to the end and confusingly forget whatever it was I’d read. It’s not you. It’s wine. Just thought you should know. I like the footnotes. Footnotes win.


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