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  Is today the last hurrah?

  Is today the last hurrah?
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  • Post #31 - August 23rd, 2006, 9:38 am
    Post #31 - August 23rd, 2006, 9:38 am Post #31 - August 23rd, 2006, 9:38 am
    I was thinking about this recently while my family and I were having a lovely day fishing. Comparatively, putting a tube in an animal's mouth and feeding it (which, remember, we do with human beings in the hospital) seems incredibly less cruel than fishing.

    Think: we spent our time chopping a small living animal into bits, shoving hooks through them, throwing them in water where they're either swallowed whole (hopefully) or nibbled into pieces. Then said hook goes through the mouth (if you're lucky) or the eye (if you're not) of the fish you're trying to catch, you drag it in by the injury out of its element, and then allow it to die a number of unpleasant ways. (even if you're practicing catch-and-release fishing, I don't think it's any nicer)

    Eating other living things isn't very nice, even in a best-case scenario. I'd imagine that if vegetables could protest, they'd have something to say as well. However, I'd agree that it is up to each individual to decide where they fall on the line of what is acceptable and what is not.
  • Post #32 - August 23rd, 2006, 10:46 am
    Post #32 - August 23rd, 2006, 10:46 am Post #32 - August 23rd, 2006, 10:46 am
    Chicago Tribune has a poll where you can vote if you agree or not with the law:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/

    It's in the middle of the page, 2nd story under News Now (on Wednesday August 23, 2006).

    I've been torn on this law. I love fois gras, but certainly don't eat it very often, but would like to be able to eat it a few times a year.

    I simply can't believe anyone is going to stop eating fois gras over this. If they enforce the law, fois gras will move to the suburbs. As a suburbanite, I've seen this as a plus.

    Still, I think if it's not overturned, the only effect will be a crippling of fine dining in Chicago proper. Fine Dining will move to the 'burbs.

    Why should they employ people to police something that will ultimately rob them of tax money?

    Nancy
  • Post #33 - August 23rd, 2006, 11:01 am
    Post #33 - August 23rd, 2006, 11:01 am Post #33 - August 23rd, 2006, 11:01 am
    Nancy Sexton wrote:Still, I think if it's not overturned, the only effect will be a crippling of fine dining in Chicago proper. Fine Dining will move to the 'burbs.

    Why should they employ people to police something that will ultimately rob them of tax money?

    Nancy


    I saw a piece on the news last night where several restaurateurs had some hard numbers as to the amount of $$$ this will be costing the city in terms of lost tax revenue. It was a pretty high number if I remember correctly. Also, Mayor Daley finally spoke out on the issue and said that there were more important things the Aldermen should be thinking about and that the ban is ridiculous.

    Mayor Daley wrote:“We have children getting killed by gang leaders and dope dealers. We have real issues here in this city. And we’re dealing with foie gras….Someone talks about foie gras this week. What’s next week? What’s on your menu…”


    In terms of policing, no one is doing it. There is not a band of food police that might raid a fois-easy. The city will only fine a restaurant if someone complains. Of course, there will probably be no shortage of do-gooders willing to do so.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #34 - August 23rd, 2006, 12:13 pm
    Post #34 - August 23rd, 2006, 12:13 pm Post #34 - August 23rd, 2006, 12:13 pm
    crrush wrote:The Councilman's assertion that the smoking ban and the foie gras ban are in the same category, and if the city council can ban one and get away with it, they can ban the other just as easily--that's just scary, mostly because he's right...so far. My hope is that by the time the full smoking ban is supposed to take effect in 2008, people will have come to their senses and realize that there are far more important battles to be fighting. Frankly, it's embarassing.


    But they're NOT in the same category! There is no foie gras "second-hand fat" like there is second-hand smoke. A person isn't risking their health sitting next to a table where people are eating foie gras. A person IS risking their health sitting next to a table where people are smoking. The smoking ban is something whose time has come, the foie gras ban is just plain stupid...
  • Post #35 - August 23rd, 2006, 5:18 pm
    Post #35 - August 23rd, 2006, 5:18 pm Post #35 - August 23rd, 2006, 5:18 pm
    Chefs sue city over foie ban
    not that i'm surprised, but why did they wait until yesterday? LTH staff lawyers advise please.
  • Post #36 - August 23rd, 2006, 5:35 pm
    Post #36 - August 23rd, 2006, 5:35 pm Post #36 - August 23rd, 2006, 5:35 pm
    Because the law didn't take effect until yesterday, so they weren't being harmed? I dunno.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #37 - August 23rd, 2006, 7:53 pm
    Post #37 - August 23rd, 2006, 7:53 pm Post #37 - August 23rd, 2006, 7:53 pm
    Nancy Sexton wrote:I simply can't believe anyone is going to stop eating fois gras over this. If they enforce the law, fois gras will move to the suburbs. As a suburbanite, I've seen this as a plus.

    Still, I think if it's not overturned, the only effect will be a crippling of fine dining in Chicago proper. Fine Dining will move to the 'burbs.

    Why should they employ people to police something that will ultimately rob them of tax money?

    Nancy


    If they sincerely thought serving foie was wrong, it would be merely the right moral decision to police it even against their own economic interests. I think it's a stupid rule, but if it weren't I would applaud their enforcing it.

    Do you really think fine dining can move to the suburbs? I just can't imagine that. For one thing, there is the drinking and driving issue. It's hard to get through a tasting menu with wine pairings and then face a long drive, even if you are not over the limit.
  • Post #38 - August 23rd, 2006, 8:51 pm
    Post #38 - August 23rd, 2006, 8:51 pm Post #38 - August 23rd, 2006, 8:51 pm
    stevez wrote:
    I saw a piece on the news last night where several restaurateurs had some hard numbers as to the amount of $$$ this will be costing the city in terms of lost tax revenue. It was a pretty high number if I remember correctly.


    That number assumes that people will not substitute something else to eat instead of having a foie gras dish.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #39 - August 23rd, 2006, 8:57 pm
    Post #39 - August 23rd, 2006, 8:57 pm Post #39 - August 23rd, 2006, 8:57 pm
    Do you really think fine dining can move to the suburbs? I just can't imagine that. For one thing, there is the drinking and driving issue. It's hard to get through a tasting menu with wine pairings and then face a long drive, even if you are not over the limit.



    Huh? Geez, its burb-y location never seemed to hurt Le Francais very much, and as I recall, Trio/Cafe Provencal had a pretty healthy run up in Evanston...

    Closest place to the city for a really good foie gras fix is probably Michael, on Green Bay Road in Winnetka. Take the Metra, get off at Indian Hill, and it's pretty much right across the street.

    You could try this:

    "A medallion of seared foie gras and foie gras strudel served over fig confit with buttered rum fig sauce.
    $15"

    Mmmm......

    Michael
    64 Green Bay Rd
    Winnetka, IL 60093
    847.441.3100

    http://www.restaurantmichael.com/
  • Post #40 - August 23rd, 2006, 9:21 pm
    Post #40 - August 23rd, 2006, 9:21 pm Post #40 - August 23rd, 2006, 9:21 pm
    sundevilpeg wrote:
    Do you really think fine dining can move to the suburbs? I just can't imagine that. For one thing, there is the drinking and driving issue. It's hard to get through a tasting menu with wine pairings and then face a long drive, even if you are not over the limit.



    Huh? Geez, its burb-y location never seemed to hurt Le Francais very much, and as I recall, Trio/Cafe Provencal had a pretty healthy run up in Evanston...>>

    That's a few restaurants, not fine dining in general moving. How many places like that do you think they'll be able to fit in the burbs?
  • Post #41 - August 23rd, 2006, 10:15 pm
    Post #41 - August 23rd, 2006, 10:15 pm Post #41 - August 23rd, 2006, 10:15 pm
    leek wrote:
    stevez wrote:
    I saw a piece on the news last night where several restaurateurs had some hard numbers as to the amount of $$$ this will be costing the city in terms of lost tax revenue. It was a pretty high number if I remember correctly.


    That number assumes that people will not substitute something else to eat instead of having a foie gras dish.


    No. That number assumed that people will order NOTHING because they will go elsewhere to get some fois gras along with the rest of their meal. A point who's logic I can agree with to a limited extent.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #42 - August 23rd, 2006, 10:33 pm
    Post #42 - August 23rd, 2006, 10:33 pm Post #42 - August 23rd, 2006, 10:33 pm
    Mhays wrote:I was thinking about this recently while my family and I were having a lovely day fishing. Comparatively, putting a tube in an animal's mouth and feeding it (which, remember, we do with human beings in the hospital) seems incredibly less cruel than fishing.

    Think: we spent our time chopping a small living animal into bits, shoving hooks through them, throwing them in water where they're either swallowed whole (hopefully) or nibbled into pieces. Then said hook goes through the mouth (if you're lucky) or the eye (if you're not) of the fish you're trying to catch, you drag it in by the injury out of its element, and then allow it to die a number of unpleasant ways. (even if you're practicing catch-and-release fishing, I don't think it's any nicer)


    And if that seems unpleasant, don't even think about going to wach those guys in Chinatown who fillet the fish while it's still breathing. (I do actually have trouble with that. I've caught fish, but I've always made sure they were dead before I started cutting them apart.) Come to think of it, how did they escape the steely eyes of our vigilant city council. Surely filleting a live fish is more unkind than making foie gras.
  • Post #43 - August 23rd, 2006, 10:39 pm
    Post #43 - August 23rd, 2006, 10:39 pm Post #43 - August 23rd, 2006, 10:39 pm
    Friends of mine in San Francisco said-- maybe someone knows more about this-- that they had a major showdown over fish treatment in Chinatown between the anti-cruelty people, who had animal political correctness on their side, and Chinese activists, who had ethnic political correctness on their side. Truly a clash of the 21st century titans. In the end they shut down a few especially egregious places but left most alone.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
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  • Post #44 - August 23rd, 2006, 11:10 pm
    Post #44 - August 23rd, 2006, 11:10 pm Post #44 - August 23rd, 2006, 11:10 pm
    Cynthia wrote:Come to think of it, how did they escape the steely eyes of our vigilant city council. Surely filleting a live fish is more unkind than making foie gras.


    Uhhh... can we stop putting together the City Council's hit list for them? Please? :-)
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #45 - August 24th, 2006, 12:08 am
    Post #45 - August 24th, 2006, 12:08 am Post #45 - August 24th, 2006, 12:08 am
    I know we have some lawyers on here. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the city's ordinance legislates against selling foie gras. But if a restaurant wants to offer the foie gras free as part of another dish people are ordering, it's not illegal. When I order a dish in a restaurant, they virtually never break out the cost by ingredient. So if someone were to order a dish containing foie gras, but the restaurant claimed the foie gras part was free and they were only charging for the other ingredients, would that be prohibited?
  • Post #46 - August 24th, 2006, 12:41 am
    Post #46 - August 24th, 2006, 12:41 am Post #46 - August 24th, 2006, 12:41 am
    crrush wrote:...The whole idea of banning a food because of cruelty is absurd. Where does it stop? ...Frankly, it's embarassing....But the one thought going through my head as I savored every bite of that rich, fatty liver...can't we at least put it in perspective of consumption? ...Now let's compare total foie gras consumption in the city of Chicago to, say, consumption of chicken nuggets, which I watch my nieces and nephew scarf like kiddie crack. What are we saving? Are we valuing the treatment of a few ducks over the treatment of scores and scores of chickens? Should we concern ourselves with the greater good? ...


    Exactly. Why not include a ban on veal? Chicken raised in little cages? Cattle and hogs that are confined their entire lives, have never seen the light of day nor provided room to even lie down? And, isn't the ultimate cruelty that these animals are then "murdered" for food? Is that not more cruel than, say, forcefeeding? Shouldn't, then, all Chicago restaurants be vegetarian restaurants? Or more compassionately, vegan restaurants? Get with it, Ald. Joe! You really missed the boat on this one!

    <she said, sarcastically>
  • Post #47 - August 24th, 2006, 5:24 am
    Post #47 - August 24th, 2006, 5:24 am Post #47 - August 24th, 2006, 5:24 am
    nr706 wrote:I know we have some lawyers on here. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the city's ordinance legislates against selling foie gras. But if a restaurant wants to offer the foie gras free as part of another dish people are ordering, it's not illegal.


    IANAL, but I imagine that it would be hard to make the case that the foie gras part of a sausage at Dougs was a freebie mixed right into the casing.

    Still, some are definitely considering the strategy you suggest at some level:

    The Chicago Sun-Times wrote:In a show of defiance, some chefs said Tuesday they will continue to serve foie gras -- they just won't charge for it.

    Chef Didier Durand of Cyrano's Bistrot said he was rewriting his menu for today to include a new dish: seasonal potatoes with a garden salad. Beneath it will be the phrase, "complimentary liver de canard," -- that is, foie gras.

    "We may put some in your pocket before you go home," said Copperblue chef Michael Tsonton.
    Joe G.

    "Whatever may be wrong with the world, at least it has some good things to eat." -- Cowboy Jack Clement
  • Post #48 - August 24th, 2006, 7:48 am
    Post #48 - August 24th, 2006, 7:48 am Post #48 - August 24th, 2006, 7:48 am
    Fois Gras, Veal, Live Fish, poorly raised Chickens..........

    STOP BEING NEUROTIC ABOUT FOOD ALREADY!

    Or at least, keep it to yourself, just don't eat them yourself.

    Frankly, I think it's neurotic to be sympathetic about your food. I would SO rather eat a piece of fish filleted live. How much more fresh can you get?

    This rampant neuroticism is hurting the American dining experience. Has been for a long time. Well, many people like us are making it better at least.

    How do we know how plants feel when we cut them? Geez, just eating something way foreign to you is silly.

    Nancy
  • Post #49 - August 24th, 2006, 10:02 am
    Post #49 - August 24th, 2006, 10:02 am Post #49 - August 24th, 2006, 10:02 am
    Nancy Sexton wrote:Fois Gras, Veal, Live Fish, poorly raised Chickens..........

    STOP BEING NEUROTIC ABOUT FOOD ALREADY!

    Or at least, keep it to yourself, just don't eat them yourself.

    Frankly, I think it's neurotic to be sympathetic about your food.


    after digesting the low level of discourse on this topic by some, my sympathies have shifted dramatically towards the food i eat. justjoan
  • Post #50 - August 24th, 2006, 10:19 am
    Post #50 - August 24th, 2006, 10:19 am Post #50 - August 24th, 2006, 10:19 am
    after digesting the low level of discourse on this topic by some, my sympathies have shifted dramatically towards the food i eat.


    That sounds clever on first reading, but really makes no sense whatsoever. Seriously, it's meaningless. Like the "insanity takes its toll, have exact change" thing people decorate their cubes with.

    You compare "the low level of discourse"
    (which I assume you mean to refer to posts other than your own) to food, and the discourse being so bad (or the food tasting so bad), you have no choice but to feel sympathy for your food (which is really the discourse). Which is somehow meant to lead to sympathy to geese and ducks that run to be fed. When food tastes bad, do you have sympathy for the food?

    Maybe I should have taken more than 3 English classes in college, but I just don't get it.
  • Post #51 - August 24th, 2006, 10:33 am
    Post #51 - August 24th, 2006, 10:33 am Post #51 - August 24th, 2006, 10:33 am
    Breeeeeeeet!

    That's the ref's whistle, calling a halt to this discussion.

    This thread is starting to go over the line into nastiness. The foie gras debate has spun through it's normal circles of back and forth here and now it's starting to devolve into a place that no one wants it to go.

    Please cool it.

    Thank you.

    Best,
    Michael
    for the moderators
  • Post #52 - August 24th, 2006, 11:39 am
    Post #52 - August 24th, 2006, 11:39 am Post #52 - August 24th, 2006, 11:39 am
    In light of the foie gras ban, and the *reasoning* behind it, this just goggles my mind:

    http://tinyurl.com/mnwvv

    >(CBS) CHICAGO The Chicago Park District hopes a new lawn treatment will keep Canada geese off its grass in Grant Park.

    The geese are snacking on grass in Butler Field, and leaving their mark behind.

    To combat the problem, the Park District sprayed 200 gallons of a digestive irritant across the field. The chemical is safe for humans, but gives geese diarrhea within 20 minutes.

    Park officials hope the geese will get the picture and leave.<

    *If this is posted in the wrong forum, please move as appropriate.

    TJS
  • Post #53 - August 24th, 2006, 12:10 pm
    Post #53 - August 24th, 2006, 12:10 pm Post #53 - August 24th, 2006, 12:10 pm
    Overfeeding geese for human consumption: evil.

    Giving geese a raging case of the trots to keep Grant Park shite-free: priceless.
  • Post #54 - August 24th, 2006, 12:18 pm
    Post #54 - August 24th, 2006, 12:18 pm Post #54 - August 24th, 2006, 12:18 pm
    Take a look at the webpage below, which links to a video of the CNN report on Chicago becoming a "nanny state." As I, and many others, predicted, Chicago has become a laughing stock over the foie gras ban. I really do hope the National Restaurant Association moves its national convention in protest.

    http://news.yahoo.com/video/2460/pg:2
  • Post #55 - August 24th, 2006, 12:45 pm
    Post #55 - August 24th, 2006, 12:45 pm Post #55 - August 24th, 2006, 12:45 pm
    Having grown up on a large, milk-fed, Kosher veal farm in Wisconsin, I've heard my share of "cruelty" complaints from plenty of people who, when questioned, have never set foot on a farm, much less a veal farm, in their lives. It seems a lot of folks like to get their education on these matters from whoever seems to be pushing their propaganda the hardest.

    For the sake of truth, people should realize that most milk-fed veal comes from Holstein bull calves that arrive on the veal farm at about 5 days old (85 lbs.) and go to the packing plant at 18-20 weeks (about 325 lbs.). They are literally the waste product of the dairy industry. In order to keep the dairy cows giving milk, they must have been recently "fresh", or had a calf. The heifer calves (females) are usually kept by the farmer to expand the dairy herd or to replace older culled cows. Since only one bull is required for as many as 10,000 or more cows (all fertilized through artificial insemination), any other bull calves are "extras". In times gone by, they would often be drowned at birth or killed when a few days old for veal, but there wasn't much meat there! Holsteins are great for producing milk, but they aren't very good for beef, too rangy and stringy, not enough marbling. So, lo and behold, a Dutch company found that top quality, prime veal could be produced by feeding these cast-off bull calves a liquid milk replacer called ProViMi (for Protein, Vitamins & Minerals). So the calves are raised in a baby hospital atmosphere, with controlled heat and ventilation and 2 hand feedings a day. Yes, they are kept in individual pens, just like people put their young children in cribs. Because the calves just sleep all day at that age, until they get up to eat at feeding time! They are never castrated, like male beef cattle are. So instead of being euthanized shortly after birth, as in the olden days, they live a short, coddled life for 4-5 months. Not as bad as PETA would have you believe, huh?
    ...Pedro
  • Post #56 - August 24th, 2006, 1:09 pm
    Post #56 - August 24th, 2006, 1:09 pm Post #56 - August 24th, 2006, 1:09 pm
    They ARE in the same category if you look at it as an issue of consumer choice. A non-smoker can choose NOT to go to a smoking establishment and sit next to smokers - there are PLENTY of non-smoking establishments in the city. A person can choose NOT to eat foie gras or choose to go restaurants that don't serve the item.

    In the larger scope of things, foie gras and cigarettes are legally produced items. Why punish certain industries (bars, restaurants) for allowing a legal product at their establishment? If people think something is is unfair or unhealty, lobby to pass a law to stop making that product. stop the production of foie gras and cigarettes at their very source.
    Last edited by leesh on August 24th, 2006, 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #57 - August 24th, 2006, 1:12 pm
    Post #57 - August 24th, 2006, 1:12 pm Post #57 - August 24th, 2006, 1:12 pm
    (CBS) wrote:The Chicago Park District hopes a new lawn treatment will keep Canada geese off its grass in Grant Park.

    The geese are snacking on grass in Butler Field, and leaving their mark behind.

    To combat the problem, the Park District sprayed 200 gallons of a digestive irritant across the field. The chemical is safe for humans, but gives geese diarrhea within 20 minutes.

    Park officials hope the geese will get the picture and leave.


    I wonder who came up with this amazing idea? Combat the problem by making geese emit greater quantities of the problem?

    I feel sorry for those people walking and driving around Grant Park when these "supercharged" geese fly away. :lol:
  • Post #58 - August 24th, 2006, 1:29 pm
    Post #58 - August 24th, 2006, 1:29 pm Post #58 - August 24th, 2006, 1:29 pm
    leesh wrote:In the larger scope of things, foie gras and cigarettes are legally produced items. Why punish certain industries (bars, restaurants) for allowing a legal product at their establishment? If people think something is is unfair or unhealty, lobby to pass a law to stop making that product. stop the production of foie gras and cigarettes at their very source.


    You can eat foie gras and not harm the person sitting next to you, or for that matter any of the employees in the bar/restaurant. The same cannot be said for your smoking a cigarette.

    Firecrackers are a legally produced item that is banned in Illinois. Why punish Illinois residents who want to use firecrackers at their home/establishment? Because they have the ability to harm others not using them. THIS is the correct analogy to cigarettes, not foie gras!
  • Post #59 - August 24th, 2006, 4:14 pm
    Post #59 - August 24th, 2006, 4:14 pm Post #59 - August 24th, 2006, 4:14 pm
    A corollary - a smoking section would prevent my asthmatic family from entering an establishment, much in the same way that a set of stairs would prevent someone in a wheelchair from entering. Foie gras may make some uncomfortable, but serving it in the restaurant does not make the restaurant physically unuseable to any group.
  • Post #60 - August 24th, 2006, 4:28 pm
    Post #60 - August 24th, 2006, 4:28 pm Post #60 - August 24th, 2006, 4:28 pm
    Enjoy the ability to differentiate. The premise still exists - the business owner has the right to run his business without government interference. Cigarettes are not illegal. You are able to avoid establishments with smoke. When we start dicing these basic arguments into "well I like this freedom, but this one, eh..." you lose the right to complain when the continue to take away simple business owner's rights.

    Obviously they are different - but don't think for a second that one anti-"fill-in-the-blank" movement doesn't feed off of the other.

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