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The Anthropology of Foie Gras - Term Paper Example

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This paper explores foie gras, a delicacy with rich historical origins, cultural importance, and extensive economic and political implications in contemporary society. The paper discusses the economic, political, anthropological, environmental, biological, and cultural aspects of foie gras.
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The Anthropology of Foie Gras
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Download file to see previous pages The treatment of animals during and before food preparation and production of animal-derived food is particularly a thorny issue for animal rights 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. 
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.
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 the liver. Besides being consumed on its own, foie gras may accompany other dishes or meals. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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