By Michaela DeSoucey
Who cares approximately foie gras? because it seems, many do. within the final decade, this French delicacy--the fattened liver of geese or ducks which have been force-fed via a tube--has been on the middle of contentious battles among animal rights activists, artisanal farmers, teams, politicians, cooks, and foodies. In Contested Tastes, Michaela DeSoucey takes us to farms, eating places, protests, and political hearings in either the USA and France to bare why humans care so passionately approximately foie gras--and why we should always care too.
Bringing jointly fieldwork, interviews, and fabrics from information and the media on either side of the Atlantic, DeSoucey bargains a compelling examine the ethical arguments and provocative activities of professional- and anti-foie gras forces. She combines own tales with fair-minded research of the social contexts in which foie gras is enjoyed and loathed. From the barns of rural southwest France and the headquarters of the eu Union in Brussels, to unique big apple urban kitchens and the govt workplaces of Chicago, DeSoucey demonstrates that the debates over foie gras contain heated and arguable politics. Her wealthy and nuanced account attracts our awareness to the cultural dynamics of markets, the multivocal nature of "gastropolitics," and the complexities of what it capability to spot as a "moral" eater in modern day meals world.
Investigating the factors and effects of the foie gras wars, Contested Tastes illuminates the social importance of nutrition and flavor within the twenty-first century.
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Additional resources for Contested Tastes: Foie Gras and the Politics of Food
As industry members repeatedly told me, waterfowl and human digestive tracts are physiologically different. Waterfowl esophagi are keratinous and do not have nerve endings; they swallow rocks for their gizzards to grind food as part of their digestion. Additionally, the birds have separate passages for ingesting food and air, unlike humans, and do not have gag reflexes, as we do. At one farm in France with an on-site slaughterhouse, I asked to see and touch the esophagi of geese that had just been butchered.
From these myriad sources, I worked to tease out the nuances of different streams of action, resources, and motives. I attempted to approach people on both sides of the issue, in both countries, in order to present them to the reader evenhandedly with equal vividness. Yet this proved challenging, for two key reasons. First, a number of people in the United States I wanted to interview—including Chef Charlie Trotter, the owner of LaBelle Farms, and the head of the Animal Protection and Rescue League—did not respond to my multiple requests.
A fourth operation, Au Bon Canard—a two-person farm outside of Minneapolis that produces around two thousand ducks per year—was founded in the early 2000s. 14 For US consumers, foie gras is a curiosity. 17 Most people in the United States don’t know what it is; even fewer have ever tried it. 18 Foie gras dishes have graced the menus of some of the country’s most celebrated restaurants. ”20 Foie gras, however, is not just a symbol of gourmet cuisine; it is also a matter of moral politics and contention for people who believe abstention is not enough.