Ban on Shark Fin Soup, Foie Gras, Booze and Other New, Dumb California Laws for 2012

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When I talk to my attorney friend about work, most of what I hear sounds vaguely like Charlie Brown's teacher laying down the law. However, when we're talking foodservice industry changes, the discussion takes a turn for the better....or in the case of a few gastronome topics, worse. Need a reminder?

Spotted at the local grocer: Just when we thought self-checkouts were the way to go to avoid pesky check-writers. Apparently, it took this long for corporate to figure out they've potentially been aiding in selling liquor to underage customers for who knows how long. It sure beat having to plead and/or pay off an adult in the parking lot. What will vagrants resort to now (there's probably an app for that)?

SB 1520 - Chapter 904:
While the Governator may have signed off on this back in September 2004, this July will mark the severing of freedom for a indulgent dish of foie gras. While it may be rather tasty, whomever thought up the concept of force feeding a bird's liver and then serving it was sick to begin with. And if it's such a cruel act, why give restaurants another EIGHT years to comply? Chances are, chefs will take Chi-town's lead and serve it on the down low until the ban is lifted. We'll see if establishments are ready to shell out the $1,000 fine.

AB 0376 - Chapter 524:
Slurpers of hot liquid nourishment are forced to find an alternative for shark fin soup, as changes have caused the sale, trade or distribution of our great whites to be prohibited. Unfortunately, ordering that bowl of war wonton doesn't quite cut it, no matter how much MSG goes in. There's nothing like being told what not to do, to boost the popularity of an item.

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David T
David T

I'm just sad about the ban on foie gras. That to me is the ultimate in food fascism right now. 

Riley
Riley

The problem with the shark fin ban is that it bans not only the sale or distribution of great white sharks, whose numbers are close to extinction, but all sharks regardless if that shark is even endangered or not. California has a number of healthy populations of sharks, and all attempts at compromise which would have restricted finning but kept shark fins legal as a culinary delicacy were all rejected in favor of this total ban.

I've seen the videos, and shark finning is terrible. That's why we should ban finning, but that doesn't mean we should ban shark fin soup which is what the law sets up to do. Even without this law, finning has become less of a problem. In countries across the globe, they've set up restrictions and laws that ban finning sharks.

As somebody who loves food, I see this shark fin as a very dangerous precedent. What's next?

And, Dave brings up an interesting point about tuna. Both tuna and sharks are apex predators, yet why do we ban the complete sale of shark fins yet allow the sale of tuna, including the nearly extinct bluefin tuna, continue? If we are going to take drastic steps like banning the sale of all shark fins because the great white is near extinction, does this mean we should also ban the sale of all tuna because bluefin tuna is nearly extinct too?

Jill Hirschi
Jill Hirschi

Your not educated in shark fin or anything else really because, shark fin has no taste or nutrional value and actually contains lethal amounts of mercury, lead and arsentic.  Also how they get the shark fins are a horrible practice of animal abuse by usually doing it on a live shark and hacking in to there neck so it harder for them to fight back and then cutting of it fins and throwing back into the ocean to die and that make take weeks.   Plus sharks are vital in keeping the most important ecosystem in balance, since the ocean absorbs 80% of carbon dioxide, provides 80% of the earth's oxygen, water, climate change, and food.  However, if you want to kill yourself just do us a favor and put a gun to your head.

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

I don't like shark fin and am glad it was banned, but your post doesn't make any sense. If there were lethal amounts of mercury, lead and arsenic, people would die after eating it; that's what 'lethal' means.

You are correct that the practice is brutal and inhumane (it's called 'finning') but you are not correct about it taking weeks for the shark to die.

Please stop parroting what PETA tells you. It's really obvious that's your source, and the hysteria is misdirected. It's banned; now comes the challenge of enforcement. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some tuna fin soup to eat.

909Jeff
909Jeff

So I'm confused oh great hippie goddess... I thought the Rain forest did all that and now you're telling me its the ocean? I'm just trying to keep up with the latest Cause de Celebre..

Kchef86
Kchef86

I don't know about the other markets, but at Ralphs (at least the one closest to me), if you tried to buy alcohol in the self-checkout lane, an actual employee had to come and check your id before you could finish checking out.

OCtotheHeart
OCtotheHeart

Yep, Kchef86, anytime we purchased alcohol at a self-checkout an employee would ID & type in their fancy codes and all was well. How is somewhere like Fresh & Easy going to do this? They only have self-checkout lanes...

909Jeff
909Jeff

EFFING GREAT POINT! I forgot about fresh and easy! 

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

They'll have to change their name to "Fresh and You Have to Buy Us Dinner First."

909Jeff
909Jeff

The same with my two local Albertsons... The point being is our state is completely fucked and yet this is the important shit that our lawmakers waste their time on.  Which Is why I have e-mailed each one of them and informed them of my family's intent to not vote for a single incumbent. I heard another one too that says kids have to stay in a car seat now until they are 8 or 4'9" tall... Why dont we just bubble wrap them until they go to college! 

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