Corby Kummer on the Future of Foie Gras

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Food writer Corby Kummer joined Boston Public Radio on Monday, sharing his thoughts on lab-grown foie gras after Paris-based start-up Gourmey raised $10 million from investors to produce foie gras from cell cultures.

While many lab-grown meats lack the texture of their natural counterparts, Kummer says that foie gras is especially suited for cell-cultures due to its “soft and squishy” texture.

“There’s a big challenge of growing out these cells, and culturing it is trying to get anything like the texture of muscles, sinew, fat, gnawing off the bone,” Kummer said. “That [meat texture] is so many years off.”

Animal rights groups have long criticized the foie gras production process, with many farmers choosing to force-feed grains to geese through feeding tubes. The New York City Council passed legislation to ban the sale of foie gras in 2019, joining California, Britain, Finland, Norway, and Israel in adopting strict foie gras laws.

Kummer says that the introduction of lab-grown foie gras is a step in the right direction.

“It’s a great first product to try to win customer acceptance and general regulator approval,” he said.

Corby Kummer is a senior editor at The Atlantic, an award-winning food writer, and a senior lecturer at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition and Policy.

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