Following the historic decision from MPs to ban trade in foie gras, the UK government has called on vegan restaurateurs to advise on plant-based alternatives to the cruel practice. As first reported by The Guardian, the government is aiming to prove that gap in the markets left by restrictions on controversial products like foie gras can be filled by plant-based innovation.
As the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs works out legislation to ban the sale and import of foie gras – produced by force-feeding fat to caged ducks and geese by pipes down their throats multiple times a day – alt meat innovators are already ahead of the curve with an array of so-called “faux gras” products.
ProVeg incubator alumni Aberyne produces Fois Green from its base in the southwest of France, an authentic version based around cashew nuts. Also on the scene is GAIA’s Faux Gras from Belgium, which won this year’s Best Meat Alternative at the International V-Label Awards. In the cultivated field, French startup Gourmey recently closed a $10 million funding round for its cruelty-free foie gras made from duck cells.
An email sent out to high-end chefs in the UK vegan restaurant world read: “I understand your restaurant serves an alternative to foie gras. We would appreciate the chance to arrange a virtual meeting with the chef or someone else from the team to discuss a few questions in this area. These would be questions about your views on foie gras and the challenges and opportunities associated with ‘ethical’ alternatives.”