Hundreds of ducks wander in an outdoor enclosure at the Sonoma Foie Gras farm in Farmington, CA, on Nov 25, 2003. Sonoma Foie Gras is one of only three foie gras producers in the United States and the only one on the West Coast. Its future is threatened by an anti-foie campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.

Foie Gras Under Attack In the US

In the heart of California’s wine country, a team of entrepreneurs has recently opened a little bistro. Sonoma Saveurs has made news headlines not only for its new concept and the quality of its products, but also for the political heated reaction over the main product it promotes, foie gras.

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Senator John Burton of California wants to introduce a bill that bans the sale or production of foie gras and impose heavy fines for violators. Foie gras would be pulled from menus and the sole West Coast supplier, Sonoma Foie Gras, could be put out of business if the bill passes. It is a response to calls from animal rights groups that say ducks suffer unnecessarily from the force-feeding method used to enlarge their livers before slaughter.

Foie gras, translated literally as fat liver, has been a delicacy for over 4500 years. Eygptians enjoyed it during celebrations and the Romans perfected the art of "gavage" or force- feeding geese. They force-fed their geese figs to obtain their foie gras, but today corn is the preferred food. Two areas in France are famous for their foie gras: Gascony and Alsace.

Jewish immigrants introduced geese to Alsace and served goose on their feast days as an alternative to the pork, which was common fare in the area. The first pâté de foie gras is believed to have been cooked in 1870. A pastry chef in the service of the Maréchal de Contades, encircled foie gras in dough and served it a reception. From that date, Strasbourg and foie gras have been linked, and many consider Strasbourgian foie gras the best in the world.

Duck and goose foie gras have always been considered a rare delicacy and it usually reserved for special occasions. Traditional accompaniments of truffles and aspic have gone somewhat out of favor and it is now more commonly served with lightly toasted farmhouse bread, which enhances the flavor.


Sonoma Saveurs is a new venture combining the talents and experience of the owner of Sonoma Foie Gras, a foie gras producer, a French entrepreneur and a chef. Sonoma Foie Gras is one of only three foie-gras producers in the United States and the only one on the West Coast

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Hundreds of ducks wander in an outdoor enclosure at the Sonoma Foie Gras farm in Farmington, CA, on Nov 25, 2003. Sonoma Foie Gras is one of only three foie gras producers in the United States and the only one on the West Coast. Its future is threatened by an anti-foie campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
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Foie Gras Under Attack In...
Date:
November 25, 2003
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01-07-2182-0071
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Hundreds of ducks wander in an outdoor enclosure at the Sonoma Foie Gras farm in Farmington, CA, on Nov 25, 2003. Sonoma Foie Gras is one of only three foie gras producers in the United States and the only one on the West Coast. Its future is threatened by an anti-foie campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
Title:
Foie Gras Under Attack In...
Date:
November 25, 2003
Filename:
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Hundreds of ducks wander in an outdoor enclosure at the Sonoma Foie Gras farm in Farmington, CA, on Nov 25, 2003. Sonoma Foie Gras is one of only three foie gras producers in the United States and the only one on the West Coast. Its future is threatened by an anti-foie campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
Title:
Foie Gras Under Attack In...
Date:
November 25, 2003
Filename:
03-04-2182-0092
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Hundreds of ducks wander in an outdoor enclosure at the Sonoma Foie Gras farm in Farmington, CA, on Nov 25, 2003. Sonoma Foie Gras is one of only three foie gras producers in the United States and the only one on the West Coast. Its future is threatened by an anti-foie campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
Title:
Foie Gras Under Attack In...
Date:
November 25, 2003
Filename:
04-05-2182-0104
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A caretaker at the Sonoma Foie Gras farm in Farmington, CA, channels dozens of ducks into a fenced area so they can be vaccinated. Sonoma Foie Gras is one of only three foie gras producers in the United States and the only one on the West Coast. Its future is threatened by an anti-foie gras campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
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Foie Gras Under Attack In...
Date:
November 25, 2003
Filename:
05-14-2182-0013
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Two caretakers vaccinates a duck at the Sonoma Foie Gras farm in Farmington, CA. Sonoma Foie Gras is one of only three foie gras producers in the United States and the only one on the West Coast. Its future is threatened by an anti-foie gras campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
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Foie Gras Under Attack In...
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November 25, 2003
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The buildings of Sonoma Foie Gras farm in Farmington, CA, where ducks are raised for their meat and liver. Sonoma Foie Gras is one of only three foie gras producers in the United States and the only one on the West Coast. Its future is threatened by an anti-foie campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
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November 25, 2003
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The buildings of Sonoma Foie Gras farm in Farmington, CA, where ducks are raised for their meat and liver. Sonoma Foie Gras is one of only three foie gras producers in the United States and the only one on the West Coast. Its future is threatened by an anti-foie campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
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November 25, 2003
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Hundreds of young ducks are kept inside a special barn the Sonoma Foie Gras farm in Farmington, CA, until they are old enough to go outside. Sonoma Foie Gras is one of only three foie gras producers in the United States and the only one on the West Coast. Its future is threatened by an anti-foie campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
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November 25, 2003
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Hundreds of young ducks are kept inside a special barn the Sonoma Foie Gras farm in Farmington, CA, until they are old enough to go outside. Sonoma Foie Gras is one of only three foie gras producers in the United States and the only one on the West Coast. Its future is threatened by an anti-foie campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
Title:
Foie Gras Under Attack In...
Date:
November 25, 2003
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Hundreds of young ducks are kept inside a special barn the Sonoma Foie Gras farm in Farmington, CA, until they are old enough to go outside. Sonoma Foie Gras is one of only three foie gras producers in the United States and the only one on the West Coast. Its future is threatened by an anti-foie campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
Title:
Foie Gras Under Attack In...
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November 25, 2003
Filename:
11-22-2182-0144
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Ducks being force-fed at the Sonoma Foie Gras farm in Farmington, CA, in order to enlarge their livers which will turn into a fat one or foie gras. During the last two or so weeks of their lives, a funnel is placed down their gullet two or three times a day and a corn-based mixture is then forced in. The process is supposed to be harmless and mimic the gorging that ducks and geese do naturally before they migrate, so they can readily draw upon fat stored in the liver during long-distance flights. Sonoma Foie Gras is one of only three foie gras producers in the United States and the only one on the West Coast. Its future is threatened by an anti-foie campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
Title:
Foie Gras Under Attack In...
Date:
November 25, 2003
Filename:
12-26-2182-0352
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Ducks being force-fed at the Sonoma Foie Gras farm in Farmington, CA, in order to enlarge their livers which will turn into a fat one or foie gras. During the last two or so weeks of their lives, a funnel is placed down their gullet two or three times a day and a corn-based mixture is then forced in. The process is supposed to be harmless and mimic the gorging that ducks and geese do naturally before they migrate, so they can readily draw upon fat stored in the liver during long-distance flights. Sonoma Foie Gras is one of only three foie gras producers in the United States and the only one on the West Coast. Its future is threatened by an anti-foie campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
Title:
Foie Gras Under Attack In...
Date:
November 25, 2003
Filename:
13-33-2182-0335
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Ducks being force-fed at the Sonoma Foie Gras farm in Farmington, CA, in order to enlarge their livers which will turn into a fat one or foie gras. During the last two or so weeks of their lives, a funnel is placed down their gullet two or three times a day and a corn-based mixture is then forced in. The process is supposed to be harmless and mimic the gorging that ducks and geese do naturally before they migrate, so they can readily draw upon fat stored in the liver during long-distance flights. Sonoma Foie Gras is one of only three foie gras producers in the United States and the only one on the West Coast. Its future is threatened by an anti-foie campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
Title:
Foie Gras Under Attack In...
Date:
November 25, 2003
Filename:
14-30-2182-0294
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Ducks being force-fed at the Sonoma Foie Gras farm in Farmington, CA, in order to enlarge their livers which will turn into a fat one or foie gras. During the last two or so weeks of their lives, a funnel is placed down their gullet two or three times a day and a corn-based mixture is then forced in. The process is supposed to be harmless and mimic the gorging that ducks and geese do naturally before they migrate, so they can readily draw upon fat stored in the liver during long-distance flights. Sonoma Foie Gras is one of only three foie gras producers in the United States and the only one on the West Coast. Its future is threatened by an anti-foie campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
Title:
Foie Gras Under Attack In...
Date:
November 25, 2003
Filename:
15-28-2182-0284
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Frenchman Jacques-Eric Delmas is the production manager at the Sonoma Foie Gras farm in Farmington, CA. Sonoma Foie Gras is one of only three foie gras producers in the United States and the only one on the West Coast. Its future is threatened by an anti-foie gras campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
Title:
Foie Gras Under Attack In...
Date:
November 25, 2003
Filename:
16-34-2182-0239
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Laurent Manrique, a French celebrity chef who served previously at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York and now Corporate Executive Chef of Aqua restaurants, sits in front of the new bistro, Sonoma Saveurs in Sonoma, CA, on February 7, 2004. Manrique is one of the partners of Sonoma Saveurs that has made news headlines not only for its new concept and the quality of its products, but also for the political heated reaction over the main product it promotes, foie gras. Its future is threatened by an anti-foie campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
Title:
Foie Gras Under Attack In...
Date:
February 7, 2004
Filename:
17-36-2182-0786
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Laurent Manrique, a French celebrity chef who served previously at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York and now Corporate Executive Chef of Aqua restaurants, sits in front of the new bistro, Sonoma Saveurs in Sonoma, CA, on February 7, 2004. Manrique is one of the partners of Sonoma Saveurs that has made news headlines not only for its new concept and the quality of its products, but also for the political heated reaction over the main product it promotes, foie gras. Its future is threatened by an anti-foie campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
Title:
Foie Gras Under Attack In...
Date:
February 7, 2004
Filename:
18-37-2182-0793
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Inside Sonoma Saveurs, a bistro and wine bar located in Sonoma,CA, and featuring artisan foods and its own unique line of of Mediterranean style, California influenced bistro products. The future of Sonoma Saveurs is threatened by an anti-foie campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
Title:
Foie Gras Under Attack In...
Date:
February 7, 2004
Filename:
19-38-2182-0661
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Junny Gonzalez, manager of Sonoma Saveurs and wife of co-owner, Guillermo. Sonoma Saveurs is a bistro and wine bar located in Sonoma,CA, that features artisan foods and its own unique line of of Mediterranean style, California influenced bistro products. The future of Sonoma Saveurs is threatened by an anti-foie campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
Title:
Foie Gras Under Attack In...
Date:
February 7, 2004
Filename:
20-40-2182-0713
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Mary Dumont, Executive Chef, prepares some foie-gras based dishes at Sonoma Saveurs bistro in Sonoma, CA, on Feb 7, 2004. The future of Sonoma Saveurs is threatened by an anti-foie campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
Title:
Foie Gras Under Attack In...
Date:
February 7, 2004
Filename:
21-42-2182-0652
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Mary Dumont , Executive Chef, prepares some foie-gras based dishes at Sonoma Saveurs bistro in Sonoma, CA, on Feb 7, 2004. The future of Sonoma Saveurs is threatened by an anti-foie campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
Title:
Foie Gras Under Attack In...
Date:
February 7, 2004
Filename:
22-46-2182-0634
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A dish of foie gras as it is presented to patrons at Sonoma Saveurs bistro in Sonoma, CA, on Feb 7, 2004. The future of Sonoma Saveurs is threatened by an anti-foie campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
Title:
Foie Gras Under Attack In...
Date:
February 7, 2004
Filename:
23-48-2182-0739
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From L to R : Laurent Manrique, Guillermo Gonzales and Didier Jaubert sitting at a table inside Sonoma Saveurs bistro in Sonoma, CA, on Feb 7, 2004. The three are partners in the bistro which future is threatened by an anti-foie campaign launched by Senator John Burton of California and some animal rights activists.
Title:
Foie Gras Under Attack In...
Date:
February 7, 2004
Filename:
24-50-2182-0423
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