New state law means farewell to foie gras

If you’re one of the many California food lovers who adore foie gras—perhaps lightly broiled and served with toast and marmalade, or seared and salted over chocolate ganache—well, say goodbye. This July the sale of foie in restaurants becomes illegal in the state due to legislation signed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2004.

The bill was brought about after proponents of the ban argued that the production of foie was unnecessarily cruel because of the method that consists of placing a tube down the birds’ throats and force-feeding them (this process is called gavage). The actual force-feeding process doesn’t hurt the birds, but accidents or over-feeding can rupture organs and kill them.

The eight-year lead was to give plenty of time to foie producers to come up with sustainable, cruelty-free ways of producing foie gras. While such methods do exist—the resulting natural foie is ever so buttery—the cost for organic and natural foie formed sans gavage is terribly expensive. Opponents of the ban argue that we eat meat, and the animals we eat die anyways. Either way, Sacramentans better get their fill of foie before au revoir.