Is the production of foie gras torturous under even the best of conditions?
Those on one side would answer yes. How could force feeding an animal ever be considered anything but torture? On the other hand are those who claim that American foie farms are positively idyllic with ducks waddling around spacious pens, even queuing up for their gavage, that for a duck, none of the things we consider uncomfortable stress them out in the least. But who's right?
To answer this question, me and a few fellow Serious Eaters (yes, including Dumpling) set out on a brisk fall morning for La Belle Farms in the idyllic Hudson Valley in what was promised to us as a 100% full-access, bottom to top tour of the operation. We'd be free to see anything we liked, no doors would be locked, and we'd be taking cameras and notebooks with us.