Foie gras is the quintessence of French delicacies, and the ruthlessness behind this dish is the inspiration for the lab model of foie gras.
Gourmey, a Paris-based startup, has raised $10 million to develop a lab-made foie gras, which it says is “an alternative to the traditional and uncomplicated version.” merciless”.
The foie gras industry over the past decade has raised concerns about animal welfare, as the traditional process of making foie gras is quite brutal. Geese are often forced to eat repeatedly with a tube straight to the neck, causing their liver to become fatty.
Two years ago, Gourmey set out to perfect their lab-made foie gras recipe, to “honour culinary tradition and heritage, and look to the future.” some cells from duck eggs, then grow them in the lab.
Investors Point Nine, Air Street Capital, Heartcore Capital, Partech Bpifrance… have supported this idea. In fact, cellular agriculture technology may be the only solution to overcome the animal rights issues surrounding this controversial foie gras.
Gourmey is not the first organization to make human foie gras
The first attempt to create the first humane foie gras was introduced in 2008 by GAIA (Belgium Animal Welfare Action Group). This dish is called “Faux Gras®”, which is made of a vegetable substitute for meat.
In the UK, PETA (Charity dedicated to the establishment and protection of animal rights) has teamed up with French chef Alexis Gauthier to recreate a vegetarian foie gras from mushrooms.
Reactions from consumers, authorities and other organizations
For the consumer, it’s the ingredients that make up the tradition and the taste. So plant-based foie gras isn’t quite as satisfying, but lab-grown meat might be a better option.
However, the current European regulatory framework does not allow lab-grown meat to be sold in supermarkets and restaurants. In addition, the Association Comite Interprofessionel des Palmipedes a Foie Gras (IFOG), which brings together the “blood” of the French foie gras industry, countered that Gourmey had no right to call their product foie gras.
The label ‘foose liver’ is strictly controlled by many regulations in both France and Europe. The name is used only to define liver from duck or goose, which is fattened by force-feeding. Therefore, the name ‘goose liver’ may not be used for a product that is not the result of this process”.
So, with $10 million in belongings, Gourmey will scale up manufacturing and export within the US and Asia first.