Foie Gras Wars: How a 5,000-Year-Old Delicacy Inspired the World’s Fiercest Food Fight—Mark Caro

I won’t get into the finer points of pro and con for foie gras production and the protests against it—other than to express my frustration that animal rights organizations have in this country, gone after the “low hanging fruit” of a luxury food item produced artisanally with a fair amount of care, rather than bringing similar energy to bear against factory farming—which would, to my mind, achieve a larger net result if they made progress.

Caro presents a pretty fair account of the recent back and forth between the food and restaurant industries and animal activists—even attempting to get Temple Grandin to take a side on the issue one way or the other (and she did blurb the book). He is, most certainly, a food journalist—and one that through this book eats a lot of foie, as well as participating in production of foie in France—so he perhaps gives the restaurant industry more of a fair shake than some might feel is warranted.

The larger question he doesn’t try and answer is how much importance should we place on enjoyment when discussing a food’s status as luxury or necessity—which is certainly one of the larger questions hanging over these kinds of foods.