Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Another Reason Not to Eat Foi Gras

There is a definite aspect of tzaar baalei chaim in force-feeding geese, one that was obviated in Europe in days of old because it was for a purpose, goose-liver prepared in this way being a necessary way of people to get their nutrients -- and this may not be obviated in America today. There is also the issue of whether this force-feeding causes the goose to be a teraifa.

But now there is further reason - chamira sakanta meIsura. And researches have found some troubling results. Reuters reports:
Geese force-fed and then slaughtered for their livers may get their final revenge on people who favor the delicacy known as foie gras: It may transmit a little-known disease known as amyloidosis, researchers reported on Monday.

Tests on mice suggest the liver, popular in French cuisine which uses it to make pate de foie gras and other dishes, may cause the condition in animals that have a genetic susceptibility to such diseases, Alan Solomon of the University of Tennessee and colleagues reported.

That would suggest that amyloidosis can be transmitted via food in a way akin to brain diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or CJD, which can cause a rare version of mad cow disease in some people who eat affected meat products or brains.


Sometimes Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, is described as a type of amyloidosis as well.
Read more there.

Of course, research has been found to cause cancer in mice. ;) And we will have to see if this is borne out, and whether it in fact translates to humans, and whether the likely impact is enough to call it sakanta, and whether shomer petaim Hashem applies, at it has applied until now.

Still, something to watch out for, even not from the perspective of halacha.

Note: Of course, not intended halacha lemaaseh.

(And check out BluishJoggers).

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