Conscious diners

In such a politically correct world no industry is left untouched, least of all the catering market. It is not that long ago that diners were unaware of whether their egg benedict was from a free range or battery hen, or whether the lettuce in their Greek salad was GM or organic.

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By  Laura Barnes Published  September 14, 2006

Conscious diners|~||~||~|In such a politically correct world no industry is left untouched, least of all the catering market. It is not that long ago that diners were unaware of whether their egg benedict was from a free range or battery hen, or whether the lettuce in their Greek salad was GM or organic. However, with a tidal wave of groups wanting to put the world — and diners — to rights, more and more people are beginning to question where their food comes from. But this isn’t a bad thing, having accountability and knowing that the food you are eating is not harming the planet or animals helps settle the mind. But where does it stop? Let’s take for example the ongoing debate over foie gras. In next month’s issue of Caterer we will be looking at how best to use foie gras and the advantages of adding it to a menu. I am under no illusions about how foie gras is produced, and although I would love to see a more ‘humane’ way of fattening up a duck, I cannot help but love the taste. Whilst researching for this feature I discovered that the State of California had banned the production of foie gras, and Chicago is set to ban not only the production but also the selling of the product. A number of other countries across the world have also banned the production or selling of foie gras, but surely in this politically correct world we have the freedom to eat what we want (within reason of course!) Most educated diners are mature enough to choose whether they do or do not want to eat a certain dish, so the powers that be should let them choose. If people stopped eating foie gras then chefs would take it off the menu, and foie gras farmers would cut down production. This is the simple economics of supply and demand. But banning something that is popular — without giving educated people the chance to choose whether they eat it or not — has the opposite affect. I can’t help but think that if more and more countries ban the selling of foie gras, speakeasies will rise out of the ashes… but this time selling foie gras, not alcohol. And with any underground movement production standards slip, meaning animals are treated even more inhumanely.||**||

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