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English : Food - Research Paper Example

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[Name of Student] [Name of Lecturer] English [Date] Food Introduction That food is the reason life exists on earth is not a debatable fact. Nevertheless, many issues and controversies surround the production, consumption, and the impacts of food on peoples’ lives and the environment…
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Download file to see previous pages 174). These debates and controversies however focus majorly on animal-derived foods whose environmental and cultural aspects have more bearings on human life (Pollan, P. 89a). The treatment of animals during and before food preparation and production of animal-derived food is particularly a thorny issue for animal right activists (Milligan, P. 156). Nevertheless, the economic and cultural importance of foods outplays the controversies and political intrigues that stem from food production, preparation, and consumption practices. This paper explores foie gras, a delicacy with rich historical origins, cultural importance, and extensive economic and political implications in the contemporary society. In this regard therefore, the paper discusses the economic, political, anthropological, environmental, biological, and cultural aspects of foie gras. The History of Foie Gras The agricultural production and consumption of bird delicacies is not a recently invented practice among the human race. However, the practice of fattening birds just before their slaughter and consumption is believed to have begun in 2500 BC among the ancient Egyptians. By over feeding the birds, the Egyptians realized that they could be fattened. Notably more fattened by the forced overfeeding of birds was the liver, which was a delicacy, regarded rather highly in many cultures of the world. In fact, many artistic impressions on the walls and floors of structures and tombs of ancient times reveal that people began to forcefully feed birds such as geese by their hands with the aim of fattening them for food. From Egypt, the force-feeding of birds spread to other regions such as the Mediterranean and some parts of Europe. Nevertheless, Egypt remained known for the practice for quite some time. It was during the Roman period that foie gras emerged as a distinct type of food, prompted by the positive results of the fattening practices on sow by the Romans. In the contemporary society, France and Hungary are known to be major producers and consumers of foie gras, duck/goose liver, specially fattened by force-feeding/gavage or non-fattened duck/goose in other countries (Thorpe, P. 36). The force-feeding process involves giving the birds corn, more so among the French where foie gras is a popular delicacy. Unlike ordinary duck or goose liver, foie gras has a rather delicate, rich, and buttery taste and is often sold as a whole liver or as parfait or mousses of liver. Besides being consumed on its own, foie gras may accompany other dishes or meals. While other countries have enacted laws and regulations against the production and sale of foie gras, to the French, it is a protected cultural and gastronomical heritage of the people. As a result, France has remained the largest producer of the delicacy in the world. Nonetheless, other regions, particularly Europe also consume large volumes of the foie gras produced in France and the US. The other large scale producers of foie gras are Hungary, Canada, and Bulgaria. There are different types of foie gras produced and consumed in different regions of the world. Most common among these types include whole foie gras, which consists of whole cooked or half-cooked liver lobe(s). The other type of foie gras is made of assembled pieces of liver which, like the former type are sold in metal cans or glass containers. As is required of any packed or tinned foodstuffs, the nutritional information of foie gras is always indicated on the package material used. For ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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