Food entrepreneur Wolfgang Puck vs. factory farming
Mr. Puck’s Good Idea – NY Times Editorial
From time to time, consumers are reminded of the power they have, and the power of the choices they make. There is no better example than the rising popularity of organic food — a matter of conscience and of taste. More and more people are buying local, organic produce and trying to find meat and eggs and dairy products from farms that are not part of the horror of factory farming.
Not surprisingly, people who shop that way also like to dine out that way. That will now be easier thanks to Wolfgang Puck, the universal restaurateur. He has decided that his culinary businesses will now use products only from animals raised under strict humane standards.
Mr. Puck is not the first chef and restaurateur to decide to forgo factory-farmed meat and eggs. You can find a few restaurants upholding these standards in nearly every major American city. But Mr. Puck runs an empire, not a restaurant. His outreach is enormous, and so is his potential educational impact. In fact, he has come late to this decision, perhaps because it affects a corporation, not the menu of a single restaurant.
For one thing, Mr. Puck’s new standard will help correct a misimpression. Many diners assume that most of the cruelty in factory farming lies in producing foie gras and veal. But Americans consume vastly more chicken, turkey, pork and beef than foie gras and veal, and most of the creatures those meats come from are raised in ways that are ethically and environmentally unsound. Until recently, most Americans have been appallingly ignorant of how their food is produced. That is changing. And Mr. Puck’s gift for showmanship will help advance Americans’ knowledge that they can eat well and do right all at the same time.