News 379 views update:Feb 3, 2010

Chef Wolfgang Puck stops with Foie Gras

Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck said he will no longer serve foie gras in his restaurants.

Additionally, his 14 fine-dining restaurants, more than 80 fast-casual eateries and 43 catering venues will use only eggs from hens that have lived cage-free; veal from roaming calves; and lobsters that have been removed from their ocean traps quickly to avoid crowded holding tanks.
"We want a better standard for living creatures. It's as simple as that," Puck said.
The move came after three years of protests by Farm Sanctuary, an animal-rights group that launched Puck said he wasn't responding to pressure from animal welfare advocates, but instead believes the best-tasting food comes from animals that have been treated humanely, and worked with the Humane Society of the US on the new initiative.
"We decided about three months ago to be really much more socially responsible," he said. "We feel the quality of the food is better, and our conscience feels better."
Chicken and turkey meat served at Puck's restaurants will come from farms that are compliant with progressive animal welfare standards, and menus will feature more vegetarian selections, he said.
The venues also will only serve certified sustainable seafood.
In 2000, McDonald's became the first major American food company to impose minimum animal-welfare standards such as increasing cage size on its egg producers.
California has decided to ban the production and sale of foie gras starting in 2012. Chicago imposed a ban last year, and bans are being promoted in Illinois, New Jersey and New York.
Banning any food, especially luxury ingredients, has been a thorny issue for chefs, who generally defend their right to use whatever they want.

Editor WorldPoultry

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