In California, the Foie Gras Deathwatch Begins

Connoisseurs are stocking up on the French delicacy as a statewide ban is set to go into effect July 1.

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If you live in California and you enjoy an occasional nip of force-fed engorged goose liver, you’re running out of time. The state’s ban on foie gras goes into effect July 1, and lovers of the French delicacy have been clamoring to get their fix before it disappears from menus and markets.

As CBS San Francisco reports, the law — enacted seven years ago — bans the sale and manufacture of foie gras, although it allowed one local producer Sonoma-Artisan Foie Gras, a chance to devise a more humane way to make the delicacy; it has so far been unsuccessful.

Foie gras is typically made by force-feeding ducks or geese through funnel-like tubes, which enlarges the liver to 10 times its natural size.

“It’s inhumane and Californians were right to ban it,” Paul Shapiro of the Humane Society of the United States told CBS.

(READ: Domino’s Latest Stunt: $50 Foie Gras & Snow Crab Pizzas)

Many California chefs, of course, aren’t happy about the ban, and have even been throwing underground dinners and special foie gras tasting menus for customers sad to see the delicacy disappear. Other chefs have rallied together to form a coalition, the Huffington Post reports, and are lobbying to overturn the law.

Chef Josiah Slone recently hosted a seven-course foie gras dinner for 30 diners, and used the chance to educate his guests about the science and production behind the dish, attempting to separate it the science from emotion.

“I think the issue that the animal rights people have is a lot bigger than foie gras,” Slone told HuffPo. “Foie gras was sort of an easy target, sort of low-hanging fruit. But in the sense of improving conditions of animal welfare, ending some of the factory farming practices that [Big Agriculture] is defending is a very admirable goal.”

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