Rarity of Foie Gras Expected to Increase Dramatically

Foie gras

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Sacre bleu! France is bracing itself for a summer onset of avian flu and halting all foie gras production, the French Ministry of Agriculture revealed last Thursday. This particular strain of avian flu was found on a farm in southwestern France late last year and is described as particularly pernicious. The spread of H5N1 in France is considered imminent and the French government has placed a three month ban on production of the fattened duck or goose liver product loved by gourmands throughout the world.

The price of foie gras is expected to rise rapidly, as France currently produces about 75% of the world’s supply. Breeders will be prohibited from housing any fowl in their slaughterhouses, and the government is expected to subsidize losses to farmers. In particular, Cristophe Barrailh, a duck farmer from Gers, estimated that, “breeders and hatcheries will face losses of unprecedented revenues, around 130 million euros”.

While mostly fatal to birds, humans are unlikely to contract the virus unless they come in close contact with live birds who are infected, but if they do, World Health Organization claims it’s fatal in about 60 percent of cases. For the future, the sector will have to make major investments to support biosecurity measures being implemented by the French government. In the meantime, lovers of this delicacy can expect scarcity and high prices to continue well into 2017.

Jackie Bryant Jackie is the Lifestyle Editor at Her freelance work has appeared at, Harper's Bazaar, The Infatuation, and Locale Magazine. Her favorite vices are peaty alcohol, rich textiles, far-flung hotels, and all food from any part of the world that can be found in a dumpling-like format. She can usually be found hanging out in her current homes of San ...(Read More)

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