Nanny State

Last Meals, Even for People Not on Death Row


Foreign Policy this month has a survey of endangered foodstuffs. Not just edible members of the endangered species club, although there are a couple of tasty endangered critters on the list, but also foods that may soon be illegal or unrecognizable.

Topping the list, foie gras:

Why can't I eat it? Four years ago, the state of California passed a law banning foie gras that will take effect in 2012. Bans have been considered in five other U.S. states. Chicago recently overturned a three-year-old ban on foie gras, but resolutions condemning the cocktail-party staple have passed in other municipalities. American chefs complain that foie gras is being unfairly singled out while cruel factory-farming methods have provoked no such backlash. Celebrity foodie Anthony Bourdain has speculated that foie gras's bad reputation has more to do with the fact that "it's fancy, and associated with the French." 

Also mentioned: Beluga caviar, veal, Chilean sea bass, and (because the common people stand to lose some delicious favorites as well) McDonald's fries.

FP has put the fear of god into me. From this day forth, I'll be eating as many fish eggs, baby cows, and McDonald's fries as I can get my hands on. Come to think of it, I had foie gras with dinner last night so I'm off to a good start.

If you don't want to join me in an actual plate of foie gras, at least stop to savor a video nibble of Bourdain on the topic: