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Contested Tastes: Foie Gras and the Politics of Food

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Who cares about foie gras? As it turns out, many do. In the last decade, this French delicacy--the fattened liver of ducks or geese that have been force-fed through a tube--has been at the center of contentious battles between animal rights activists, artisanal farmers, industry groups, politicians, chefs, and foodies. In "Contested Tastes," Michaela DeSoucey takes us to farms, restaurants, protests, and political hearings in both the United States and France to reveal why people care so passionately about foie gras--and why we should care too.

Bringing together fieldwork, interviews, and materials from archives and the media on both sides of the Atlantic, DeSoucey offers a compelling look at the moral arguments and provocative actions of pro- and anti-foie gras forces. She combines personal stories with fair-minded analysis of the social contexts within which foie gras is loved and loathed. From the barns of rural southwest France and the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels, to exclusive New York City kitchens and the government offices of Chicago, DeSoucey demonstrates that the debates over foie gras involve heated and controversial politics. Her rich and nuanced account draws our attention to the cultural dynamics of markets, the multivocal nature of "gastropolitics," and the complexities of what it means to identify as a "moral" eater in today's food world.

Investigating the causes and consequences of the foie gras wars, "Contested Tastes" illuminates the social significance of food and taste in the twenty-first century.

296 pages, ebook

First published July 5, 2016

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Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 reviews
26 reviews1 follower
March 3, 2017
A fair review on the, indeed, contested status of foie gras.

In my view it especially exposes the hypocrisy and blindness to reason from the side of animal rights activists, without sparing those in favor of foie gras from their faults. What does become exceptionally clear is that the production of foie gras is much less cruel and less of a torture than often depicted by aforementioned animal right activists.

I would definitely recommend this book for those interested in food politics; DeSoucey manages to give a rather balanced and neutral view in this well written book.
Profile Image for bks.
62 reviews1 follower
July 1, 2017
DeSoucey analyzed different ideologies behind the foie gras movement, and how it shaped culinary landscape and people's gastronomical beliefs. Culinary choice is a part of our identity and a reflection of our moral beliefs. Investigating foie gras sheds lights into the shaping of Zeitgeist in waves of social movements and counter-movements.
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60 reviews1 follower
January 5, 2021
The argument is weak and with a lot of repetitions that could hardly back-up the writer’s point of view.

The relationship between the consumption of foie gras and politic is an interesting topic but it seems that it needs a lot more elaboration to make the argument more convincing.
Profile Image for Benji.
344 reviews42 followers
December 20, 2016
Foie gras, paired with butternut and yellow beet (om nom nom nom), more of a sacrificial lamb than a red herring.
Profile Image for smallwin.
110 reviews6 followers
December 8, 2020
Quoted by
"動保團體: 關於肥肝這個議題,不是我們選擇戰場的戰場,是戰場選擇了我們"

本書完美演繹了極端的 SJW 和 以"師出以保障少數人利益,圖自身利益"的極致
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 reviews

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