The clock ticks ever closer toward the July 1 ban on foie gras to take effect in the state of California, and a council of chefs is not going quietly into that good night. Yesterday, a group calling itself C.H.E.F.S, the Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards, took the fight for foie to Sacramento to repeal Senate Bill 1520. Standing with over 100 of his colleagues, Haven Gastropub's Greg Daniels represented chefs and restaurants in Los Angeles, Orange County, and Long Beach.
The coalition contends that the state law as written will lead to a black market in foie gras, as happened in Chicago when that city enacted its 2006 ban on foie. At that time, some clever Chicago chefs did an end-run by not offering foie on their menus, but instead selling toast points for exorbitantly high prices with a wink and a nudge.
Rather than the overly broad language in S.B. 1520, chefs are urging lawmakers to pass new, strict regulations that will require humane and ethical production of foie gras.
The "Humane and Ethical Foie Gras Act" would require:
- Regular audits by certified animal welfare experts
- Cage-free birds
- Trained caretakers
- Hand feeding
- Reasonable limits on fattening, and
- Feeding methods that do not impair breathing or harm the animal in any way.
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For more information on C.H.E.F.S., visit: chefstandards.com, and contact your State Representatives to support the "Humane and Ethical Foie Gras Act" and repeal of Senate Bill No.1520. Follow the "Contact Us" Button on this site for our State Representative.