The dubious Chicago Foie Gras ban takes effect next Tuesday, August 22, and the toddlin' town is toddlin' to its high-priced restaurants for a final taste of the soon-to-be-forbidden avian organs. Illinois restaurateurs are responding to the ban in the traditional American fashion, by filing suit to overturn it:
'The argument is that this [ban] violates interstate commerce and the city is usurping the federal government's power by banning a product that's federally approved for shipment across state lines,' said a source familiar with the lawsuit.
Chef Allen Sternweiler of Allen's New American Cafe will be a named plaintiff. While other Chicago chefs were hesitant about signing onto the legal battle against the city, Sternweiler said, 'If the city wants to send a health inspector to my restaurant every other day for the next five years, let them do it. I have nothing to hide.'
'What's at stake is the ability of adults to order legal products, the production of which has been overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, when they choose to dine out in Chicago,' said Chris Robling, a spokesman for the Artisan Farmers Association.
Of related interest:
- Powerful Chicago Alderman Edward Burke has since proposed a citywide ban on cooking methods involving trans fats, asserting as a rationale: "If we can ban foie gras, we can ban this."
- Michael Krauss at PointofLaw.com points to the on again/off again love affair between the arch-nutitionists at the Center for Science in the Public Interest and trans fat-laden vegetable oils.
- The Chicago Tribune's Mark Caro spins a tale of horrorshow videos and name calling behind the foie gras ban, while wondering whether foie gras-bound ducks and geese aren't better treated than the typical chicken.
- On July 25, Nick Gillespie hissed in gooselike fashion at the aldermanic sissies of Chicago with a catalog of their recent misdeeds.
- California will implement a ban in 2012 on the production, but not on the sale, of foie gras. I wrote about the California legislation in the long-ago days of the 2004 presidential election campaign, and noted one candidate's fondness for the controversial foodstuff.
[Illustration -- Bark Drawing: Palmated Goose, (Kakadu Tribe), showing internal anatomy, from Baldwin Spencer's Native Tribes of the Northern Territory of Australia (1914), "Chapter XIV: Decorative Art," via the Internet Sacred Text Archive.]