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No fat ducks allowed

Written By Administrator On October 15, 2008

Disney World bans foie gras from its menus

It was inevitable that the movement would eventually hit Florida. In the last several years, municipalities and states have made moves to ban foie gras, the fatted livers of ducks or geese. The state of California instituted a ban; now it has spread to California Grill at Walt Disney World.

And not just there. Victoria & Albert’s, Citricos and Les Chefs de France are banned from using the delicacy too. Chefs des France? Sacre bleu!
The reason for the ban is that many animal rights advocates believe the methods used to fatten the waterfowl livers is cruel. It involves placing a feeding tube down the bird’s gullet and injecting grain. The fattening of the liver is a natural phenomenon that occurs when ducks and geese prepare for migration. They gorge themselves on grain and the plumped liver is a side affect.
(Maybe the solution to this is to hire a bunch of Italian mothers to raise the birds. They can just go around all day telling the ducks, “You look skinny; eat something.”)
Scott Hunnel, executive chef at Victoria & Albert’s, told me the ban was part of a larger “menu initiative” that includes banning endangered seafood and generally “going green.” Hunnel said that bluefin tuna and “pup” swordfish, those under 100 pounds, would also be banned.
Foie gras has previously been banned by California legislation signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger. But the ban doesn’t go into effect until 2012, so you have to wonder just how concerned they are about all the birds that will be force-fed until then.
(The pro foie gras camp, it should be noted, questions whether the birds are harmed at all, saying their gullets are not prone to feel the same kind of pain.)
The City of Chicago also banned foie gras, but in May it repealed the ban. So never mind about Chicago.
And it’s possible that this is just a passing fad for Disney World. In the meantime, Hunnel, who used foie gras frequently on his ever-changing menus, says he’s using other parts of the duck in place of the liver, so either way, the duck comes out losing.
So do liver lovers.

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