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 were force-fed via a tube--has been on the heart 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 U.S. and France to bare why humans care so passionately approximately foie gras--and why we must always care too.
Bringing jointly fieldwork, interviews, and fabrics from documents and the media on each 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 during which foie gras is enjoyed and loathed. From the barns of rural southwest France and the headquarters of the ecu Union in Brussels, to specific ny urban kitchens and the govt places of work of Chicago, DeSoucey demonstrates that the debates over foie gras contain heated and arguable politics. Her wealthy and nuanced account attracts our realization to the cultural dynamics of markets, the multivocal nature of "gastropolitics," and the complexities of what it capacity to spot as a "moral" eater in state-of-the-art nutrition world.
Investigating the motives and results of the foie gras wars, Contested Tastes illuminates the social value of nutrition and style within the twenty-first century.
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Extra info for Contested Tastes: Foie Gras and the Politics of Food
1 At the beginning, however, even basic information about foie gras was not easy to obtain. There were no books about it available at my university library, and academic journal articles were limited to veterinary reports on waterfowl liver chemistry. com, the only available English-language book on foie gras that offered more than recipes was Foie Gras: A Passion, published in 1999 and cowritten by one of the owners of Hudson Valley Foie Gras in New York State. Searching for information on the Internet led to similarly limited results.
Frenzied debates over foie gras’s ethics dominated online culinary and chef-related discussion-boards such as eGullet and Chowhound. Upon my return, I gave one of the cans to my advisor at Northwestern University, Gary Alan Fine, with whom I’d been discussing the article. ” As is often the case, he was right. I quickly began to see that debates over foie gras are so much more fierce and complex—and sociologically compelling—than a war of words between two hot-tempered chefs. A bit of digging revealed impassioned battles erupting in the United States, France, and elsewhere.
A number of local anti–foie gras campaigns in cities around the country received national press coverage—a social movement achievement. Yet activists have also encountered resistance to their depictions of foie gras as the epitome of evil. Attitudes toward food tastes—and the overall ethics of eating animals—are, of course, diverse. Many diners and chefs consider foie gras a legitimate culinary choice that should remain just that, a choice. Moreover, a number of journalists, academics, and opinion leaders who have visited foie gras farms themselves have raised questions about the veracity of animal rights activists’ claims of cruelty and their depictions of the production process.
Contested Tastes: Foie Gras and the Politics of Food by Michaela DeSoucey