Foie Gras is a controversial ingredient, therefore conflicting opinions exist regarding the way it is made.
At La Sirène, we want our customers to be fully aware of what they order so they can make an informed choice as to whether or not consume Foie Gras. Below are two explanations on how Foie Gras is made, from the standpoint of the Hudson Valley Foie Gras Farm where we source our Foie Gras, and from the standpoint of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Our standpoint is to respect everyone’s conscious, informed and personal choice :)
To produce Foie Gras, we replicate the natural gorging process of migratory waterfowl. By utilizing a special hand-feeding process to optimize what nature gives us, we are able to produce high quality ducks. Anyone can visit the farm’s cage free barns that shelter ducks from varying weather conditions and see well-cared-for ducks in a stress-free environment. No factory farming. As for force-feeding, yes this is how Foie Gras is made. However it is important to understand that ducks are physiologically different from humans. A duck’s esophagus allows it to gorge itself and store food without pain. In nature, birds force-feed themselves cereal grains 14 days before each migration, twice a year.
To produce Foie Gras (“fatty liver” in French), workers ram pipes down the throats of male ducks twice each day, pumping up to 2.2 pounds of grain and fat into their stomachs, up to 4 pounds daily. The force-feeding causes the birds’ liver to swell up to 10 times their normal size. Many birds have difficulty standing because their engorged livers distend their abdomens. Common health problems include damage to the esophagus, fungal infections, diarrhea, impaired liver function, heat stress, lesions, and fractures of the sternum. Some ducks die of aspiration pneumonia, which occurs when grain is forced into the ducks’ lungs or when birds choke on their own vomit.