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Foie Gras Farewell In California

David Silverman, Getty Images

Los Angeles, CA (WIBX) – If you have weighed in on the New York City soda debate lately, you might be interested in another discussion among foodies on the other coast. Tonight is the last night that diners can enjoy foie gras in the state of California.

Under a law signed by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2004, chefs, farmers, and producers were given time to find alternate production methods to replace the process known as “gavage,” or force-feeding ducks and geese to produce the fatty liver product.

Having not found an alternate method, many who consider foie gras near and dear to their hearts have closed their businesses or moved out of state.  If caught selling the substance after July 1, 2012, a restaurateur could face a $1,000 fine.

A foie gras ban instituted in the city of Chicago in 2006 was overturned two years later.  Gavage is currently banned in Argentina and Israel.

Lovers of the liver product say that nothing can replace its buttery texture and rich palate appeal. And there are many chefs who insist that they are mounting a repeal of the law and promise to come up with new methods.  Critics say that the practice of gavage goes far beyond cruel and unusual treatment of animals.

Many in California will be hosting “Foie Gras Farewell” parties this evening.

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