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California Foie Gras Ban: 8 Foods More Cruel And Harmful Than Foie Gras

First Posted: 10/19/11 03:58 PM ET   Updated: 12/19/11 05:12 AM ET


In eight months, the sale of foie gras will be illegal in California. Although animal rights activists may be cheering, several prominent chefs are disappointed and upset. Many of the more outspoken chefs source their foie gras from humane suppliers, a practice that trickles down to almost all the food they serve. In other words, these chefs are very conscious of the ingredients they use and are careful about the proteins they source.

The consumption of foie gras is a hotly contested issue worldwide, but we can't help but think that there are foods that are more controversial than duck liver. Foie gras is a delicacy consumed by few. Foods like feedlot beef and farmed salmon are sold on a much larger scale, so consuming them arguably has a much bigger impact not only in terms of animal rights, but also for human and environmental health.

Below, eight foods that deserve a closer look at restricting before foie gras:


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  • Feedlot Cattle

    There's a reason feedlot beef was included in the Center for Science and Public Interest's <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/14/the-terrible-10-worst-aspects_n_1010696.html#s408669&title=Feedlot_Beef" target="_hplink">"Terrible 10."</a> Raising animals for industrial slaughter can be harmful to the environment (pollution from methane gas), the animals (often raised in tight conditions) and humans (risks of E. coli).

  • Factory-Farmed Chicken

    Large-scale chicken farms are often just as frightening as beef. If you haven't seen <em><a href="http://www.foodincmovie.com/" target="_hplink">Food, Inc.</a></em> the film remains just a relevant, if not more, since it debuted several years ago.

  • Bluefin Tuna

    Bluefin tuna is probably the most widely-cited example of overfishing. The fish are caught are<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/18/atlantic-bluefin-tuna-twice-quota_n_1017314.html" target="_hplink"> way above</a> the quota with <a href="http://bittman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/22/more-about-disappearing-fish/" target="_hplink">little evidence of recovery</a> for the stock.

  • Shark Fin

    California seems to be on a bit of a food ban spree recently, but we commend the move to ban the sale of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/07/shark-fin-trade-banned-california_n_1000906.html" target="_hplink">shark fin</a>, used in a popular Chinese soup. "The practice of cutting the fins off of living sharks and dumping them back in the ocean is not only cruel, but it harms the health of our oceans," said governor Jerry Brown.

  • Palm Oil

    The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/07/girl-scouts-cookies-palm-oil-campaign_n_998437.html" target="_hplink">Girl Scouts may have recently pledged to reduce the amount of palm oil</a> in their famous cookies, but that is only one drop in the bucket. Non-sustainably-sourced palm oil destroys rainforests, and threatens the habitats of animals that live there.

  • Chocolate/Coffee From Child Slavery Regions

    GOOD didn't beat around the bush with its recent post, "<a href="http://www.good.is/post/child-slaves-made-your-halloween-candy-stop-buying-it/" target="_hplink">Child Slaves Made Your Halloween Candy. Stop Buying It</a>." Makes you think twice about stocking up on all those Reese's.

  • Farmed Salmon

    Farmed salmon just doesn't sound appetizing anymore thanks to the prevalence of sea lice and various diseases that can affect farmed salmon. To make matters worse, such infestations are <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/18/science/18salmon.html?_r=2&src=tp" target="_hplink">now affecting wild salmon</a> as well.

  • Junk Food Marketed At Children

    There's nothing wrong with allowing children the occasional bag of Cheetos. But given the staggering level of obesity in American children, it seems ridiculous to be marketing these products directly at children. Of course, the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/donald-cohen/marketing-junk-food-to-kids_b_999376.html" target="_hplink">marketers see otherwise</a>.

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Filed by Carey Polis  |