'Home of Foie Gras' Bans the Pâté from Official City Events

Foie gras is still a popular delicacy in France.

© Shutterstock

foiegras-ban

Foie gras is still a popular delicacy in France.

© Shutterstock

The Strasbourg Mayor Jeanne Barseghian, who is part of the Europe Ecology Greens party, confirmed her decision to stop serving the pâté at all official city events. Foie gras is made from the livers of ducks and geese who are force-fed, a practice animal rights activists have condemned as cruel and inhumane.  

“Cruelty to geese and ducks has no place in modern society, and PETA thanks the mayor of Strasbourg for her compassionate decision to stop serving vile foie gras,” said Mimi Bekhechi from the animal rights group. “Torture doesn’t belong on dining tables – faux gras [a vegan substitute] is the way forward.”

Backlash

The mayor's decision to ban one of Alsace's flagship products was reportedly made after she took office in 2020 but has only just become public. It has dismayed local producers, who point out that Strasbourg was known as ‘the capital of foie gras’ in the 19th century, according to Le Figaro.

“It's a somewhat surprising announcement, one day before the opening of the Christmas Market," Nicolas Lechner, the president of the foie gras producers of Alsace, told the newspaper. "Is she going to unbolt the Gänseliesel in the Parc de l'Orangerie?" he asked, referring to a statue sculpted in 1898 of a young girl leading a flock of geese. 

Another producer, Vincent Heusch, questioned whether the mayor, who is vegetarian, would now remove all animal products, including meat and fish, from official tables.

'Faux gras'

Foie gras production is illegal in the UK, the Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, Poland, and Turkey, while many countries and states have also banned its import. The Guardian reported last week that the UK is looking to clamp down on foie gras imports and has invited chefs to discuss how to create plant-based “faux gras” in the event of an upcoming ban. 

Many luxury shops and restaurants in the UK have already turned their back on foie gras, including Fortnum & Mason and Selfridges, following protests and pressure from celebrities like Sir Roger Moore and Joanna Lumley. 

 

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