Last fall, when Mike Pardus and I were leaving Hudson Valley Farms the manager, Marcus Henley, tried to give us caps. But when he went to retrieve two caps from the storeroom he discovered that he had run out. Mike and I were properly disappointed, but since we had just toured one of the most responsibly run farms either of us had ever seen, understood that we had little cause to complain. Yet I still wanted that damn cap, if for no other reason that I wanted to be able to wear it around to arouse and alienate people who think that foie-gras farming is intrinsically evil.
Well, yesterday I was surprised and delighted to see a UPS box on my doorstep that proved to contain this marvelously stylish Hudson Valley Foie Gras cap. There was also a DVD of Tony Bourdain's "No Reservations" visit to the farm, a nice note from Marcus and a letter from the marketing director with lots of good news.
1) On February 11, 2008 Hudson Valley Farms became the first USDA approved "Cage Free" farm in the United States.Okay, now I'm going to go back to reading about how Monsanto spends 2 million dollars a day hunting down farmers who they suspect are saving their GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) seeds and otherwise infringing on their patent rights. Can you imagine that?
2) On March 6, 2008 The Maryland legislature rejected a proposed ban on foie gras.
3) On March 17, 2008 The New York State Supreme Court dismissed a suit brought by the Humane Society
of the United States who had alleged that foie gras was an "adulterated food product."
Except that in Monsanto's case, its target could be the owner of a ten acre farm who just happened to be unlucky enough to have one of their investigators pay him a visit a week or so after a bird excreted a GMO seed onto his field.
I'm not fundamentally opposed to genetic engineering of foods, but I've got very little patience for businesses that attempt to monopolize an industry, and punish anyone who stands in their way. That's evil.