Foie Gras or Cat Food?

When I was in Paris recently, I was astonished by the fact that foie gras is on the menu everywhere--you know, the liver pate that's produced by torturing geese. I'm more than a little concerned about whether there's an animal rights movement in France. Here's the standard defense--"That stuff is soooooo delicious, we just can't do without it." (That's the short version. Some go on to claim the geese couldn't be happier, French culture can't survive the sacrifice of foie gras, etc etc.) But what about the deliciousness bit? Well, it turns out science is helpful here. Is the stuff really, really scrumptious? No more so than cat food! On average, people cannot tell them apart. So says Paul Bloom, in his wonderfully interesting and entertaining new book How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like.

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