Considered an incomparable, rich and silky-textured gourmet luxury that is well worth the major ka-ching, gourmands literally flock to foie gras, ooohing and ahhing over the melt-in-your-mouth experience. Those who actually consider how it’s made are not so quick to sing its praises. As far back as ancient Egypt, man realized that when ducks and geese are force-fed a boiled corn and fat mixture roughly four times daily via a process known as “gavage”, their resulting swollen livers (which are often 10 sizes bigger than normal, weighing as much as 10 ¼ to 14 ounces) can be used to create a pâté or used as the foundation for a decadent meal.
Oddly enough, it’s only been in recent years that humanity has acknowledged the inherent cruelty of the process and taken steps to change their ways. Despite far too many chefs still being more than happy to use foie gras (including Anthony Bourdain), global regions such as Norway, Germany, Israel, Poland, Great Britain and California/Chicago have banned it since the process by which it is obtained infringes on the welfare of the animals involved. Now, native Brit and Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet is working with PETA on behalf of these unfortunate industry victims by narrating a new, very disturbing behind-the-scenes video.
The gavage technique, which employs the use of a long metal tube placed directly down the throats of geese and ducks, often causes breathing difficulties, liver disease, the walls of the esophagus to become deeply scarred and necks to suffer from multiple punctures. Foodies who sincerely want to embrace a cruelty-free choice can now purchase Waitrose’s “Faux Gras” (using a mixture of goose and duck fat mixed with 50% free range poultry liver) or those who would like to eschew the animal factor altogether can make vegan versions instead, courtesy of NoFoieGras.org. Thank you Kate for bringing serious star power to what is equally as deserving of attention as any other animal rights issue.