Foie gras tasting sparks controversy in Reno

Reported by: Madison Corney
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Updated: 2/14/2014 10:07 am

RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- A gourmet food company in Reno is speaking out after a planned event at the Nevada Museum of Art was canceled at the last minute.

A food and wine tasting hosted by Mirepoix USA was originally going to take place at Chez Louie inside the Nevada Museum of Art. But at the last minute, the private event was forced to move elsewhere.

Foie gras, French for “fat liver”, is a food product made of an enlarged duck or goose liver, which is a result of overfeeding. It’s a controversial delicacy that has been banned in California and other places around the globe, but it remains legal in the state of Nevada. When word got out about the foie gras tasting, animal rights activists and many museum members were not pleased.

Amanda Horn, the Director of Communications at the Nevada Museum of Art, said the event was canceled due to the number of members who said they did not agree with the event. “We received several emails, we received handwritten letters and we listened to our members.”

Mirepoix USA Owner Laurel Pine said they were able to find a new location to host the event, but still feels as though her event was not given a fair chance, “My message to the museum would be that I would hope in the future that they would welcome with open arms, open debate and that they wouldn’t shut down one opinion over another.”

Horn says an open dialogue is always welcome when it comes to art, “We will take up a debate and controversy over art all day long, because that serves our mission, but this event was not part of our mission. We’re not a culinary institution, we are an art museum.

8 Comment(s)
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Mika928 - 2/14/2014 1:58 PM
2 Votes
Wow, I am do glad that the NMA canceled the event. It is fortunate to see that they do not associate devastating torture with art. I don't see how fois gras can be viewed as a delicacy when it's production is sick and cruel.

Working man - 2/14/2014 1:37 PM
1 Vote
Well there goes my support, both membership and donations. If they want to embrace California values and outspoken fanatics, MOVE to the republic. What's next no chicken items in the café, we could argue they are all cooped up.

renomommy - 2/14/2014 12:38 PM
1 Vote
Food is art. What perfect venue than the museum. I do not agree with the way that this product is obtained, but the museum knew what the product was. They should not have pulled the rug from under Mirepoix at the last minute. Dirty pool.

Billy - 2/14/2014 11:48 AM
1 Vote
A museum creating engaging conversation about issues of the day is one thing, a public institution hosting an event borne of the worst kind of animal cruelty is an entirely different matter. Say what they will, the bottom line is foie gras is a product born of immeasurable cruelty. It's production is outlawed in the UK, it's completely blacked out in California, the sixth largest economy in the world, it's banned in 14 other countries and on in the UK. This is not a trivial matter as more and more people are raising their voices against it. Foie Gras is a process of engorging the animal by sticking a metal pipe down its throat and bloating it to the max. The foodstuff is cornmeal and fat: (bacon greese or lard?) which the vegetarian animals would not normally eat. The fiber moves through the animal quickly so they can be engorged again as soon as possible. The fat collects in the liver swelling to 5 times its size, it's now abnormal and considered diseased. Undercover cameras at the factory farm that provides the foie gras to reno reveal a nightmare: The animals are in huge rooms where they never see the light of day or get fresh air, the lights are only on for feeding. They are in the dark, crowded on top of one another, fighting each other off or sitting in their own filth, covered with the vomit of their engorging. People who see the film are sickened by it. Most of us can't quite understand why some chefs just won't let it go. There are thousands of other dishes to be created. Chef Wolfgang Puck said, "We chefs have the ability to create delicious and original dishes our customers will love without causing torment to animals."

laurelpine - 2/14/2014 9:23 AM
0 Votes
There are two discussions to be had. One is about the responsibility a museum has to protect freedom of expression, and to let all views be heard and debated openly. The second is about raising animals for food and establishing acceptable standards.

Amendoza88 - 2/14/2014 9:21 AM
1 Vote
"It's not part of our mission?" Food is art. Have you seen some of the crap they put on the walls? If they call that art, I don't understand how a beautifully presented meal isn't.

TammiT - 2/14/2014 8:20 AM
0 Votes
Yes, and killing baby cows (or adult ones for that matter) is "animal cruelty" but if I want to eat beef whose business is that but my own? nimal rights activists need to stop telling people what they can and cannot eat!

FoolontheHill - 2/14/2014 8:12 AM
3 Votes
What's to debate? It is animal cruelty. It's just a question of whether or not that's O.K. for food. Apparently the majority of Museum members believe that it is not.

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