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Kashrus Of Foie Gras


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#1 Interested Party

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 04:27 PM

Here's a new article:

'Force feeding geese for foie gras is kosher'
By MATI WAGNER

Disagreeing with a High Court ruling and the adopted practice of a growing number of European countries, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv ruled there is no halachic restriction against force-feeding geese for foie gras.

Elyashiv, probably the most preeminent halachic authority living, was asked by a haredi foie gras producer to give his opinion after MK Moshe Gafni (Degel Hatorah) voted against Israeli foie gras production in the Knesset Education Committee, arguing that it contradicted the Jewish law prohibiting cruelty to animals.

Ze'ev Friedman, a resident of Bnei Brak, who has a 30 percent share in Foie Gras, a meat production plant in Petah Tikva that markets goose liver, initiated a meeting of a group of rabbis including Elyashiv, Rabbi Avraham Yosef, the chief rabbi of Holon, and Rabbi David Yehiel Verner, the chief rabbi of Hadera.

The rabbis described in detail the entire process of foie gras production to the nonagenarian rabbi. Asked if foie gras production was a violation of halacha, Elyashiv replied unequivocally that it was not.

Halacha permits causing animals to suffer if, as a result, there is some tangible benefit to man. That is why animals may be slaughtered, used for plowing or for carrying heavy loads.

However, writes Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (Igrot Moshe, Even Ha'ezer IV 92), not all benefits enjoyed by man justify causing suffering to animals. Based on this distinction, Feinstein prohibits raising calves for veal. Producing white meat is nothing more than a marketing ploy, writes Feinstein, and does not justify depriving calves of iron in their diet or limiting their mobility.

In contrast, Elyashiv ruled that the enlarged liver resulting from forced-feeding practices is a tangible benefit to man and justifies animal suffering.

As further evidence that there is no halachic restriction against foie gras, Friedman, a sixth-generation foie gras producer, cited stories that Rabbi Moshe Sofer, known as the Hatam Sofer, who lived at the turn of the 19th century, ate foie gras on a regular basis.

"It could be that my forefathers in Hungary actually sold the Hatam Sofer goose liver," said Friedman.

Foie gras producers force-feed newborn geese with high-caloric food by inserting a tube into the esophagus, resulting in the swelling of the liver. The process lasts about three months, after which the geese, who have a life expectancy of about 60 years in their natural habitat, are slaughtered.

Animal rights groups say force-feeding damages the digestive system and the esophagus and causes suffering.

In August 2003, the High Court agreed with a petition by Noah, an umbrella organization for animal rights organizations in Israel, that force-feeding geese for the production of foie gras causes unnecessary suffering.

The court ruled that foie gras production violates the Protection of Animals Law, 1994, which prohibits torture, cruelty or abuse to animals. It based its decision on a distinction between food items necessary for human existence and luxuries. Less weight is given to agriculture industry needs and more emphasis is put on animals' rights when a food product is a luxury item.

Chai Binyamini, secretary-general of the association of goose growers in Israel, said the Agriculture Ministry had invested NIS 200,000 to investigate more humane methods of producing foie gras.

Binyamini said 62 geese growers employing 600 workers produce 500 tons of foie gras a year. Industry revenues, including both liver and goose meat, are NIS 100m., of which NIS 60m. are for export.


http://www.jpost.com...d=1109647369298

Comments anyone?

I was under the impression that in order to force feed the geese, one must insert a tube or funnel into their gullet. That sound to my untrained ears like it raises a distinct possibility of causing treifos.

#2 shaya_getzl

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 05:47 PM

Here's a new article:

http://www.jpost.com...d=1109647369298

Comments anyone?

I was under the impression that in order to force feed the geese, one must insert a tube or funnel into their gullet.  That sound to my untrained ears like it raises a distinct possibility of causing treifos.

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On this note, does anyone know where kosher fois gras can be found in NY ? I really, really miss it ...
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#3 NY-LON

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 10:42 AM

Not sure offhand (zabar's maybe?) but when I googled for "kosher foie gras" I came up with several online stores selling it.
Remember, correlation does not equal causation.
Coincidence does not imply correlation.

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#4 shaya_getzl

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 11:04 AM

Not sure offhand (zabar's maybe?) but when I googled for "kosher foie gras" I came up with several online stores selling it.

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I can't fathom ordering food online ...
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#5 NY-LON

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 11:09 AM

Not sure offhand (zabar's maybe?) but when I googled for "kosher foie gras" I came up with several online stores selling it.

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I can't fathom ordering food online ...

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I have (though it has to be said, not perishables, mainly baking supplies).

Ah ha, just googled "kosher foie gras new york" and one company says its products are carried by Dean & DeLuca, Eli's Manhattan, and Fairway (which has some good kosher stuff, I used to shop at the LI one).
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Coincidence does not imply correlation.

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#6 Pure Myrrh

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 11:10 AM

Has anyone considered the issue of tza'ar ba'alei chayim with regard to force-feeding (particularly through intubation)? I'd hate to be one of these lucky geese.
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#7 hafle

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 11:17 AM

I know that in the early years of Kfar-chabad, exporting that stuff was one of the main 'industries"

#8 hashfanatic

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 11:42 AM

Not sure offhand (zabar's maybe?) but when I googled for "kosher foie gras" I came up with several online stores selling it.

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I can't fathom ordering food online ...

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What about "Fresh Direct"? I know many Manhattanites that do it. It works for them, and is professional.

#9 Interested Party

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 11:51 AM

Has anyone considered the issue of tza'ar ba'alei chayim with regard to force-feeding (particularly through intubation)? I'd hate to be one of these lucky geese.

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Read the article. It talks about teshuvas by Rav Elyashiv and R. Moshe Feinstein on that very subject. (I'll edit the post to include it, bli neder)

#10 hashfanatic

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 05:12 PM

Has anyone considered the issue of tza'ar ba'alei chayim with regard to force-feeding (particularly through intubation)? I'd hate to be one of these lucky geese.

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Certainly not my idea of the goose that laid the kosher egg! :D




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