INTRODUCTION: The famed pate fois gras, normally made from goose liver and considered by many epicureans to be a great delicacy is now being produced more cheaply by using the liver of a duck bred especially for the purpose.
GV Ducks waddling
CU PAN Female Peking duck TO Male Moscow duck
SV/CU PAN Ducks being artificially inseminated (2 shots)
SV/CU Ducklings taken from incubation room (2 shots)
SV & CU Ducks being force fed (3 shots)
SV & CU Livers being removed from slaughtered birds (3 shots)
CU PAN Tray of livers. One liver on scales
CU Moshe Tamarkin speaking
CU & TV INTERIOR Dinner party group eating pate (2 shots)
SEQ. 9: TAMARKIN: "The taste is like the goose liver -- even tastier more; and we can serve it cheaper in 30 to 40 percent than goose liver."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: The famed pate fois gras, normally made from goose liver and considered by many epicureans to be a great delicacy is now being produced more cheaply by using the liver of a duck bred especially for the purpose. Unlike their traditional counterparts in Europe, these ducks are the products of high technology. They are also a valuable export product earning more than 350 million Israeli Shekels (29 million US dollars) for the hard pressed Israeli economy.
SYNOPSIS: Israeli farmers have created a super-breed called the Moullard -- a cross between the male Moscow Duck, renowned for strength -- and the female Peking Duck, the most prolific egg-layer in the world. In natural conditions the two birds would not breed, so the females have to be artificially inseminated. The offspring are infertile but this presents no problems as they are destined purely for the table.
The female lays 200 eggs a year compared to other breeds which usually average between 30 and 42. The ducklings need all but 13 weeks to reach maturity.
From the incubation room the birds are taken to be forced fed. A kilo of grain a day is passed through a tube straight into the stomach. This unnatural consumption causes sclerosis of the liver and it swells to an abnormally large size.
After four weeks of feeding the ducks are slaughtered -- their fattened livers, weighing up to 1 kilograme 350 grammes (about 3 lbs). The man responsible for the new breed is agricultural scientist Moshe Tamarkin.
With livers priced at 100 dollars a kilo (45 dollars a pound), the industry is worth millions in export orders.