Hey, and welcome to the short stuff, I'm Josh and there's Chuck and Jerry's wandering around the halls somewhere stuffed to the gills like a fattened goose with me.
Oh, yeah. Hmm. That makes it sound like she she eats balls of meat so doesn't even chew them. Just swallow them like a duck and they get stored in her liver and eventually we will kill Jerry and eat that liver and it's going to be delicious.
I'm surprised that a miso manufacturer and distributor hasn't I guess you don't manufacture it, but. Packager has not tried to custom brand a Miso Jerry brand. It's a it's a I think maybe we should do that. Maybe not my best idea. It's not a bad idea, though, you know what I'm saying? Look, it's not one that just makes you go like, let's just keep talking and pretend you didn't say that. I appreciate that. Like, there's a few bucks in it for us, I think, down the road.
All right. OK, so we're talking about fat and liver, because if you translate the word fatty liver into the Franch, it comes out to be foie gras, which you may have heard of before. You may have even eaten before. Nope. You may detest. Yes. But it's like one of the most controversial foods ever, and I mean, like, seriously, you could have never even seen this stuff and have just heard those words.
And you probably are aware that it is an extremely controversial food.
Yeah. And this is something I've never tried and certainly because of the practice.
But even before I knew how it happened, I just don't eat organ meats and fattened goose liver just would not appeal to me anyway. I don't like pets and stuff like that, so it never would have been on my culinary radar anyway.
I have to admit that on a visit to Italy I ate. Any kind of organ meat, I'm sure, literally morning, noon and night for days on end, and it was just a dream.
Oh, God. The thing is, is there is a lot of people out there who say, hey, fat boy, why don't you quit eating that stuff? Because there's a lot of animals that suffered to make that. And they have a really good case. So much so that there have been bands specifically on foie gras. In fact, in New York in twenty nineteen, they passed a ban bill through 1878 that prohibits, get this, storing, maintaining, selling or offering to sell Force-Fed products or food containing force fed products, which is basically targeting foie gras because foie gras is, of course, Fed product, hence the controversy associated with it.
That's right. India, Australia, California, other places that have banned foie gras from being, I guess, at least sold and served in restaurants. And the practice you're talking about, this force feeding, is it is it called gavage?
I believe so, yeah. That's that's how I would say gave a G e and this goes way, way back to Jesus. At least Egypt when they were force feeding these geese, when they saw that that quote developed the waterfowl developed large fatty livers after eating large amounts in preparation for migration. Yeah. And then this goes to the Mediterranean and then into France, where a lot of our culinary traditions were born. And there was a chef. Their name is Jean Joseph Clauss or Clouser, that probably German Clough's.
All right. And he is credited with creating the first foie gras in 1779 and patenting it in 1784.
Yeah, and he got 20 pistils from King Louis the 16th saying, thanks a lot, pal, for creating foie gras. I love it. I slather it on my naked body every night, go shoot some geese.
So, yeah, like this is based on this idea that that ducks and geese naturally fatten up storing fat on the liver they stored on their under their skin, too, like we do. We also store fat on our liver. But geese and ducks are just evolutionary ases that storing fat in their liver. And it just so happens that somebody said, I wonder what that tastes like. They tried it and we're like, this is astounding. And most of the time when you have pâté, it's foie gras.
It isn't a pâté form, which is to say, it looks a lot like cat food consistency, very similar color, maybe even a similar smell. It's the taste that really differentiates it, not just the taste, but also the price. They can get up to like eighty bucks a pound, usually forty to eighty dollars a pound for foie gras, which is a lot of money for a pound of any kind of food. But one of the reasons why is the production is so food is so labor intensive.
Right. Yeah. And then also the stuff that goes in along with it seems like a very fine Brandy's truffles.
It's a it's about as decadent a food as you can find. Yeah.
It just really reeks of well I guess it reeks of Henry the Eighth or King Louis the 16th and people like that who got gout when they were in their 20s and just surrounded themselves with fats and meats and liver organ meats and things like that. I'm sure making you hungry. I'm about to vomit. I'm just remembering all the treatments.
But, uh. If you're on the other side of the coin and you are into animal rights and stuff like that, you might say, hey, ducks hyperventilate sometimes, sometimes they bleed, sometimes they are shackled when you are force feeding them. They rallied for that bill, the 13 seventy-eight bill that you were talking about. And you can be fined anywhere from 500 to two thousand dollars starting in 2022 in New York City.
Yeah, when it takes effect, I guess all of New York or maybe just New York City.
So you would think like, you know what's controversial about this?
It's just rotten. It's wrong. It's mean. All the produce, like one of the most decadent foods around, like there's really nothing controversial about that. It's it's sounds pretty one sided and a lot of people feel that way. There is, however, another side that argue against it. And we will visit them right after this.
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And they actually say it like that a lot. A lot of like chefs, especially celebrity chefs, have actually taken a stand in favor of foie gras, saying that it's unfairly targeted. One of the reasons I saw I read a couple of posts on Sirius Eats in defense of it, and they said, you know, this is a type of food that's associated with the very rich. It's really easy to get people riled up because you hear things like force feeding and jamming tubes down animals necks making their liver 10 times their normal size.
You put all that together and, you know, foie gras becomes unfairly targeted and it's kind of hard to swallow at first.
Very sorry about that. The idea that anybody would defend force feeding an animal to fatten its liver to 10 times its size so that gout ridden old Ritchies can eat a little bit of this stuff. But if something is unfairly demonized, it is worth looking into an unpacking. And they do make a couple of good points here or there.
Yeah, there's a group called the Catskill Foie Gras Collective worst bad name ever. And they produce most of the foie gras that you would get in New York City. You could still get, I guess French restaurants are open for the next couple of years. Yeah. And they they have challenged the ban and they say it's unconstitutional. You don't have jurisdiction over what we do. De Blasio and these are our businesses and you can't shut us down. And the I guess the leader, the president, Marcus Hennelly of the Catskill foie gras collective says, you know what, this this little tube is really not causing any discomfort.
Ducks ducks aren't like us. They're built different this than than us. And this tube is they love this thing, trust me.
Basically, in that serious article, they went to like the greatest foie gras farm on the planet. And the ducks, like, came over to get their gavage feeding. But the that's definitely not par for the course.
There's a lot of videos out there of some really abusive duck and geese farms where they're stuck in cages and their beaks are broken and they're bleeding out of their noses and their lost feathers. And they have like vomit around their mouth and they're still being force fed. There's some really awful operations out there. But the apparently, if you're getting good foie gras, you're getting it from somebody who's treating their animals very well. And the case they're making about ducks and geese being built differently than us is that their esophagus, their esophagus, I guess, are not connected to their trachea.
There are two separate ones rather than shared like in in humans. And their esophagus is allowed to stretch like they can eat fish that are many times over the size of their actual esophagus so they can stretch pretty easily. So that's where they say it doesn't really give them much discomfort, if any, and that their their liver fattening feel like huge like sizes, that it's actually kind of built to do that. This is just humans speeding up this process.
They're kind of making it in like a simulated way, like the ducks, the ducks and the geese aren't doing this to migrate, but they are responding naturally to this kind of simulated packing on the weight. And that if you kind of start to understand it, you will probably change your mind about foie gras. I don't know if that's a foregone conclusion, but from what I read, it isn't quite as bad as I presumed.
The one that got me, though, Chuck, is that if you they say if you are fine with eating eggs, you don't really think about where your chicken eggs are coming from. You've got no leg to stand on going after foie gras because the chickens that are producing those eggs that you're eating are being treated just as bad, if not worse than the worst cases of the ducks and the geese that are being fattened up for Patty. That is the one point that I find difficult to challenge.
Well, yeah, I mean, you know, very famously worked in the chicken farming industry, unfortunately, as a marketing person. And it's terrible.
But these days you can get chickens from one of your neighbors most likely. And that's what we do.
Yeah, it does smell like a what about Azem? You know, I think it smells like it because it very much is exactly that. Yeah. Yeah.
So I mean, foie gras. I don't think I can really eat it anymore. I haven't eaten in a very long time, but I do have my memories with it of the livers of dead abused ducks that I've eaten. So I'm sorry Doctor.
I'm sorry. Geese, quack, quack. I wonder if, you know, you said that they were meant or not meant to, but their livers would fatten up anyway for migration. I guess they are meant to. I wonder if these ducks run over there to get this force feeding because they're like, this can get me out of here, man.
You're going to fly, fly, fly pretty soon. I got to get out of here, this is the worst. Oh, goodness. And the unconstitutional thing, I'm like, what are they talking about? Supposedly state wise, it's unconstitutional because they're trying to regulate interstate commerce, but I don't know that that necessarily holds up.
Hmm, interesting. So there you go. Foie gras. Everybody go make up your own mind about it. Could do a little research and see what you think. And in the meantime, short stuff is out. Stuff you should know is a production of radios HowStuffWorks for more podcasts, My Heart Radio, is it the radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows?