Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Germans and the French at war again

The methods of production for a lot of things that we eat don’t bear thinking about. One particular product that comes to mind is foie gras.

To create the fattened liver needed for this pâté, ducks or geese must be force-fed to bloat their livers by up to ten times their normal size – a technique known in French as gavage. French law permits this method of foie gras production as part of its "protected cultural and gastronomic heritage" but in other countries like Germany the practice is banned. That doesn’t stop the Germans from eating 170 tons of the French pâté each year though.

Now, the sensitive Germans, spurred on by animal right’s activists, have decided to ban the liver pâté from the biennial Anuga food fair in Cologne in October. This has understandably caused outrage amongst the French producers. The French agriculture minister, Bruno le Maire has got involved and has written to his German counterpart threatening to boycott the opening ceremony if the ban is not lifted.

Where do we stand on all this? Well we don’t like the French who we find unfriendly and we don’t really care that much for the Germans who we claim steal our sunbeds so we’d best stay out of this fight.

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