Thoughts on Foie Gras Humaneness & My Own Hypocrisy

When we launched seven years ago, we decided not to sell foie.  I never wanted to be big brother, but I also didn’t want to sell products that I didn’t believe in.  This is the story of how I came to challenge my convictions.

In short, I’ve seen the production of foie ducks, but have begun to wonder if foie production isn’t any worse than commodity chicken production.  After comparing the amount of foie each person (even big fans) consumes in a year vs chicken, I wonder if it isn’t hypocritical of people (including me) to consume one but eschew the other.  As a result I’ve decided to start carrying foie gras, while providing a candid description of what I observed at a foie farm, so people can make their own decision.

Interested in the long version?  Here we go:

Ever since deciding not to carry foie, I have had dozens of people try to change my mind and exactly zero people gave me props for deciding to decline.  We are definitely missing opportunities by not selling foie, but I thought I was doing the right thing.

When a very liberal, animal-loving, sustainability-minded chef friend told me to get over it, I really started to reconsider.  So, I told a foie company that I’d sell their product but first wanted to see for myself how the product was produced.  People in the industry swore up and down that foie production is humane.

If we start carrying foie, I want to be candid about how it’s produced.

The Un-Sugar Coated Truth – What it’s like on a French foie gras farm:

So, I finally went to check out a foie gras farm.  Though it was a supposedly pre-arranged visit by the meat company that buys from this particular farmer, the farmer did not know we were coming.  At first I thought they wouldn’t let us in, but we were able to get a tour after we luckily were able to get in touch with the meat company owner.

This was a perfect opportunity.  Because we surprised them, I got an unscripted, unvarnished window into how a farm operates.

The ducklings start in very clean and spacious barns with access to pasture when the weather is agreeable, then they are moved outside to expansive grassy pasture with access to a barn in inclement weather.  For the first 12 weeks they essentially live like free-range, grass fed animals…the ideal.

The last two weeks of their life looked a little rough to me.  This is the period of time in which they go through the gavage process that involves force feeding a cornmeal type product and causes their livers to get fatty and swell.  Here’s what I observed: The ducks are held in 5-bird wire cages suspended over the floor.  Their poop drops to the floor beneath and pools in a collection area on the floor.  That’s not the end of the poop story, because enough poop landed on the wire cage which is then laid in by the birds.  The birds were definitely slightly beige from poop.  I could see it gumming up their feathers.  The barn smelled mildly of feces.

They keep the barn dark 24 hours a day in order to keep the birds calm if that tells you anything at all.  The birds can and do move around a little.  There’s enough room in each cage that they could squeeze in another 3-5 birds, but not enough for the birds to spread their wings completely.  Twice a day, they get force-fed the moistened cornmeal, but only if they don’t still have cornmeal in their throat remaining from the last feeding.  They are handled gently so as not to damage their gullet.

Some of the birds are gasping, they look full.  They appear frustrated, but who am I to determine that.  They aren’t making noises.  I would ordinarily equate noises with discomfort.  When I mention that the ducklings in barns live in clean, spacious barns & appear very healthy, trying to be positive, the response is that you have to take good care of them otherwise you lose your investment.

I didn’t see the gavage, but I didn’t need to.  I didn’t like what I saw.  It’s clear that this production is not ideal even without the force feeding.

The birds do not run to get fed, as proponents claim.  They are in small cages.  They can’t run to the food and can’t run away.

Is foie gras really worse than commodity meats?

But this led me to be thinking about bigger questions about my own hypocrisy.  The unavoidable reality is that I eat chicken and eggs in restaurants … and they aren’t always labeled as free range (and free range merely means “allowed access to the outside”).  In mediocre restaurants I can always count on a salad with grilled chicken…or chicken dishes in ethnic restaurants.  Those chickens likely are raised in similar small cages their entire lives, not just in the last 2 weeks.

So, what do I eat a year of chicken?  30 lbs?  The average American consumes almost 90lbs of chicken a year.

What does a heavy foie user eat?  1/2 lb?  1 lb?  Foie is an easy lightning rod because of the force feeding, but is it overblown?  No one eats perfect.  So, should the question be “what is the best we can do?”  Or “how should we avoid the worst?”  Am I a hypocrite for eating chicken while avoiding foie?

The Decision:

Some people want foie gras.  Some people want to avoid it.  I’ve decided to be as honest as possible about my personal experiences with the foie farm, in the hopes that people can make informed decisions, then let them decide rather than holding the door shut.

My own thoughts on the subject, as you can see above, are still very much in flux.  I’d love to hear your own thoughts on the subject, whether they be pro or anti foie.  Please leave me a comment below with what you think.

Gruesome Slaughter

I have seen a lot of forms of slaughter, but none creeped me out more than the way I saw eels being killed at the Tsukiji Fish Market on a recent food scouting mission to Japan. My initial notes read:
“One disturbing thing at this market was that the eels apparently need to be filleted alive in order to optimize quality. They hold them in shallow trays and apparently keep them mellow by cutting their vertebrae and holding them in the community blood pool that results. You can see that they are still alive as they barely slither around. Then someone plucks one out, puts a nail through its head to hold it on the cutting board and fillets them. That’s quite a miserable death. Possibly the worst form of slaughter I have ever seen.”
But before putting that judgment here on the blog, I did some more research about it and discovered that it is a practice called ikejime and it looks a lot worse than it actually is (read more about it on Wikipedia and Cooking Issues). The vertebrae cut basically paralyzes the eels, so they can’t feel anything, but they are still a sentient head swimming in a pool of blood. That’s definitely gruesome. The nail to the head apparently kills the brain, so the eel isn’t actually being filleted alive. It’s already dead. The gastronomic reason for the practice is to minimize the stress and flopping because that degrades the quality of the flesh.
So, what is my judgment after doing more research? It’s complicated.

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I’d say that ikejime is actually pretty humane if the brain is killed quick. Much of what I saw, however, was brain-alive eel in holding tanks. I don’t know if an eel knows the feeling of frustration, but it can’t get more frustrating than that. I’ve never cared for the taste of eel so I really never eat it. Certainly, what I saw isn’t making me crave it.

On this topic, I live in a glass house. What can I say? We sell over a hundred species of fish and meat that are processed (see, “processed”, there’s my marketer’s euphemism) in a whole variety of ways. I haven’t seen them all and I’d bet that some of those kill floors can use improvement. What I have truly seen consistently is an evolution toward more and more humane practices as a result of a mix of government-pressure, consumer-pressure and, believe-it-or-not, operators that want to improve. As cynical as you may want to be, believe me that there are good operators out there who do better than the minimum required of them.
This stuff is hard to write about and hard to think about. I grew up in a slaughterhouse and despite my heightened level of desensitization, it is still tough to stomach sometimes. There’s a reason why a few generations of food marketers have offered only happy food images and avoided talking about how food gets to the table. The reality of it is that nature is gruesome. No matter how much we think we are different from any other animals, we still kill things and eat them. And no matter how hard we try as a society to be more humane (we do get better all the time), we have to kill things to eat them.
Slaughter is an unavoidable part of the whole thing. There’s probably no way to make it perfect. Apart from incremental improvements, the biggest impact we can have is to constantly improve the lives of food animals because slaughter is only the last little bit of the process.

Mechanically Tenderizing Beef – A Danger of Omission

People have been mechanically tenderizing beef for ages – I’m sure you’ve all seen cube steaks in the grocery store with that distinctive odd-looking texture.  If it’s a tender cut from the round you’re looking for, there’s nothing wrong with taking a meat mallet, needler, or other mechanical tenderizing system to tougher cuts of beef to make them more tender…but I think needling in a restaurant should be disclosed.

The problem is the beef industry is struggling to meet the low-end restaurant business’s demand for cheap tender steaks.  To keep the beef coming, while holding prices down, they’ve taken to needle-tenderizing beef that would otherwise be too tough to serve as a steak.  The USDA (so far) doesn’t require them to say when a cut has been tenderized in this way, so most restaurants don’t disclose it.

You’ve probably also all seen the warnings at the bottom of menus telling you that the USDA doesn’t recommend eating undercooked meats.  Most people order steaks less than well done anyway, because the inside of a steak is considered essentially sterile, they figure the risk is low.

That’s not the case with needled steaks.  As the needles pierce the meat to break up muscle fibers and make it more tender, they can also force bacteria from the surface of the steak (where it would be killed during cooking) deep into the center (where it may survive at lower levels of doneness).

Suddenly your steak might not be safe to eat Medium Rare.

The Kansas City Star published a good article on the subject that I’d recommend reading.  Just be aware that there’s a fair amount of meat packer imagery attached that some may find upsetting.

News Flash: According to NPR, the USDA has just proposed requiring mechanical tenderizing be disclosed on packaging.  I hope it’ll go through – this is clearly a situation where the industry could use more transparency.

Have You Heard of Zilmax?

When it comes to beef, marbling is key.  This interspersed thin layers of fat throughout muscle is used to judge beef quality (that’s how Select, Choice & Prime are decided).  It’s believed to play an important role in tenderness, flavor and moistness.

But when it comes to grain-fed beef produced in the US, marbling is about to become a lot less common.

Zilmax = More Beef, Less Quality
In a new Slate article entitled Why Beef is Becoming More Like Chicken, Christopher Leonard describes the introduction of a new feed supplement called Zilmax – a drug originally intended to treat asthma.

“A new cattle drug called Zilmax is being widely used in the industrial feedlots where most of America’s beef comes from, but not because it produces a better sirloin.  In fact, it has been shown to make steak less flavorful and juicy…” he writes.   “Zilmax is a highly effective growth drug, and it makes cattle swell up with muscle in the final weeks of their lives.  And despite concerns within the industry, the economics of modern beef production have made the rise of Zilmax all but inevitable.”

You don’t just have to take his word for Zilmax’s effects though – here’s a product overview from Merck, producer of Zilmax.

When it comes down to it, the margins in commodity beef production are too narrow NOT to use Zilmax.  According to Leonard, Feedlot managers are making the switch in the hopes of making just an extra $30 in profit per animal.

Zilmax isn’t the only strange thing being fed to cattle in the US
We’ve also written about the how’s and why’s of growth hormone use in grain-fed cattle, and antibiotics as feed supplements and byproducts in feed.

So What Do You Do?
…if you don’t want beef with all this stuff in it?  Switch to specialty beef where producers focus on quality rather than quantity.  Switch to beef from countries that outlaw the use of antibiotics, hormones, etc as growth promotants.  Like our amazingly delicious New Zealand Grass-fed Angus Beef

Antibiotics in Meat. An Argument for Sparing Use.

Ask a grass-fed cattle farmer, pretty much any grass-fed cattle farmer, about antibiotics and you will be greeted by a reaction that is a mix of defensive and dumbfounded, a reaction that is so uniform that you’d think they were reading off their talking points like a party politician.


Farmers insist that it would be inhumane to deny an animal antibiotics if their health or life depended on them. Just like we need to be medicated when we are sick, sometimes animals need to be medicated. One New Zealand farmer I spoke to said that he gives antibiotics to about 2 out of 1,000 cattle in any given year and then they have a 30 day waiting period before the animal can be sent to slaughter. This is basically what the claim “never fed sub-therapeutic antibiotics” means.


Personally, I would prefer to eat 100% antibiotic-free meat, but I realize that position is either: 1) rather elitist of me and/or 2) a slap in the face of animal welfare. Those who claim to sell “never-ever” meat simply put the medicated animal into separate production of 100% antibiotic-fed meat, so somebody is eating it, just not me. And, if the animal is not treated it could suffer needlessly from an infection.


I suspect that the reason why grass-fed farmers are often defensive about this question is because they feel that urbanites don’t understand that to deny antibiotics to an animal who is suffering is inherently inhumane. The grass-fed

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farmers who I have met care deeply about the animals that they are raising. The reality is that animals that live on grass, with space, in a natural environment seldom need antibiotics so they are used sparingly in grass-fed operations.


The big problem arises when antibiotics are administered as a matter of practice and in large volumes. In North America, farmers order antibiotics from a catalog just like they order corn and they administer those antibiotics routinely to all of their animals. Feedlot cattle are fed antibiotics with their food because in a confined and crowded environment, a steady regimen of antibiotics is necessary to keep the animals growing and alive.


In New Zealand, antibiotics can only be administered by a vet to treat sick animals, there is a 30 day waiting period before that animal can be sent to the abbatoir and violation of this rule is apparently punished mercilessly by the authorities. I’m not sure if residues remain in the meat after 30 days, but maybe?


At this point I agree with the ranchers. If antibiotics are used extremely sparingly and administered only by a veterinarian, then we should treat sick animals rather than let them suffer. If that means that a small quantity of antibiotics enters the food supply, then that is a consequence that we should live with. There’s so many variables to balance. What do you think?

I Didn’t Always Eat Meat

If ever there were a black sheep in the Marx family, I’m pretty sure I am it. I was raised in a slaughterhouse. I can trace my paternal lineage back 5 generations and all of them were butchers. My first job was in a slaughterhouse. Second in a packing plant. Third in a butcher shop. You get the picture.  Yet, I gave up meat for about 7 years much to the dismay of my family.
I swear that I didn’t stop eating meat because of my wife who had been a vegetarian since second grade. Nobody believes me. Anyway, I stopped eating meat about 10 years ago when I started questioning my diet and reading voraciously about food politics. Diet for a New America by John Robbins was the tipping point. At the time I didn’t really have access to sustainable, humane meat. So, I dropped meat from my diet.
Fast forward 10 years. February, 2013. I have been eating meat for a few years.  I’m fresh back from a trip to New Zealand where I spent two weeks touring the ranches, abbatoirs and offices that are responsible for our Silver Fern Grass-fed Angus beef and soon-to-be-imported Silere Alpine-origin Merino. My notebook repeatedly asks questions like “How can one challenge the ethics of eating meat when the meat is raised like this?”
Marketing terms like “free range” and “grass-fed” barely do it justice. On one ranch that I visited, there were 25,000 Merino roaming 100,000 open acres of alpine pasture. It was lambs doing what lambs do. Vast healthy pastures. Lots of wildlife. Shepherds and ranchers that genuinely care for their herds.
At the end of the trip, I still couldn’t think of an argument challenging the ethics of eating meat raised this way. Instead, I was repeatedly awestruck by the beauty of the land, the beauty of the animals and of the people who steward both. New Zealand meat production is the gold standard of sustainability, animal welfare and meat quality. Here’s some photos, because words cannot express.

Kobe Beef in the News


A few customers asked us for our thoughts on this story in Forbes. Here you go:

It is important that people ask questions about their food. Period. End of Story. If more people made a habit of asking questions about what they eat, then our country would be a whole lot healthier. In that vein, it is important that people know that “Kobe Beef” is a term that is commonly used to denote eating qualities, not necessarily a geographical origination.

I’ve always regarded the term “kobe beef” to be similar in usage to brussel sprouts, Swiss cheese and Dijon mustard. It is a categorical designation, not a geographical one. We strive to accurately list the country or region of origin on our products. Our Kobe Beef has always been from Australia or the US and it has always been identified as such on each and every item page.

My personal opinion is that there is not a broad conspiracy among producers and chefs to defraud high-end diners, as accused in the story. Rather, this is the case of consumers, chefs and ranchers settling on a particular nomenclature over a period of decades for a term used to describe a category of product. The term “Kobe Beef” is surely not a brand that is owned or controlled by anyone. And, what is sold as “Kobe Beef” most certainly is different than the other products on the market – beef that has higher levels of marbling and fat (and therefore flavor) due to its genetics.

I do not think that users of the term are implying that it is “Beef from Kobe”. I still assume that most Americans don’t even know that Kobe is a city in Japan. Among those that do know, I am having a hard time imagining that they think their beef comes from a metropolis.

Reading this story on actual salmon fraud makes me think that there are probably a few restaurants out there who advertise Kobe Beef but use commodity beef instead. There are always a few bad apples just as there is an abundance of restaurateurs out there that are buying higher quality Kobe Beef at a higher cost and therefore passing that higher cost on to their customers while serving them better quality beef.

We need more consumers and journalists asking questions about food. Regardless of the author’s intentions or motivations, I commend him for igniting dialogue around this issue. However, I take strong issue with the author’s claim that this is “food’s biggest scam.” That statement may draw attention, but it is highly sensationalistic. Every food issue is important, but in the scheme of things, I personally find this nomenclature issue to be a non-issue. In fact, I wish that the author had used the significant journalistic power that he wields in order to uncover whatever actually is “food’s biggest scam” …because surely Kobe is not it.

I think that everyone’s attention is better served by focusing on issues that not only affect far more people, but that also affect people in more than a semantic way, like the 29 million pounds of antibiotics a year in livestock feed or the FDA’s acceptable levels of things like maggots, mold & rodent hairs in your food (hint: it’s not zero).

I am very curious to see where this dialogue leads us. Specifically, I ask that commenters share their opinions below. For the time being we are going to continue calling the product “kobe beef” and list the country of origin, just as we have for years. But, I am open to change.

Frankly, for my money, I’ll take New Zealand Grass-fed Beef any day over Kobe Beef.


3/14/14 Update: Since I wrote this original post, beef nomenclature has shifted. It is now our impression that “wagyu” is becoming the dominant word to describe “Kobe” beef produced in Australia or the US. I still stand by what I said above, but as a result of the shift in language we’ve recently renamed all our Kobe beef products to “Wagyu beef”.

Post Written by Justin Marx

The Irony of Veal Stigmas & Milk Production

I had dinner last night with a dairy farmer at a breathtaking vineyard in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. I’m here primarily to learn about our new grass-fed beef, but there’s always unexpected lessons. In this case, I gained unexpected clarity from facts I already knew. #LessonsFromNewZealand


Veal is a byproduct of the dairy industry.

In order to produce milk continuously, the dairy cow needs to be impregnated annually. Most dairy cows are Holsteins or Jersey cows because those breeds produce the highest volumes of milk. But those breeds are not suitable for beef production. The result is that every dairy cow on the planet births one calf per year.

So the farmer has a choice of killing the calves upon birth or raising them for veal. Depending on economic factors exclusively, the dairy farmer makes that choice. Since the main objection to veal over the past few decades has been on grounds of animal rights and humanity, the question is: What is more humane? When it comes to “milk-fed” veal, that is a good question and I don’t know the answer. I do think that rose veal production in general is more humane than immediate slaughter. And, it is certainly a better use of agricultural and environmental resources given all the inputs required to gestate that calf.

The bottom line is that there literally would be no veal if it were not for the dairy industry. I am marinating in irony as I think about this.

I have this picture in my head of conscious consumers discussing the animal welfare implications of veal, while sitting down for a spread of cheese and crackers. I am imagining the caricature of an animal rights advocate: an urban liberal pontificating over an elegant spread of something hard, something soft and something blue.

I can’t help but think that all of the animal rights advocates have missed the point. The symptom is veal husbandry. But the real cause of the problem is our demand for milk and milk products.

I am also imagining pro-lifers voraciously consuming milk and not even knowing that a consequence of their milk production is that some of gods creations are being unceremoniously slaughtered and buried after birth. I presume that they value human life over animal life, but how is it not a contradiction to argue against aborting a human fetus while supporting an industry that routinely terminates live creatures.

There’s just too much irony.

My wife is a naturopath and she often reminds me that we are literally the only species on the planet that not only consumes milk as adults, but that drinks the milk of another species.

How is it that our species has come to drink so much milk? My guess is that the milk industry’s success is one of marketing’s great triumphs. But, maybe it also sells itself. After all, who can’t resist a great cheese plate or indulgent dairylicious dessert.

Post Written by Justin Marx

Can You Say “Tertiary Butylhydroquinone”?

We’re constantly evaluating new products to see whether they’re worth sharing with our customers.  We value your trust, and we try to repay that by: A) only carrying the best foods possible and B) being up front with ingredient lists on the product pages so you can always make an informed choice.

As I’ve discussed before in my post about dried fruit,  we try to hold the line against certain ingredients making their way onto the Marx Foods store. When in doubt, natural is good…and not natural is bad.  We’re planning on adding some new chorizos to the store soon to round out our cured meats and sausage sections, but have rejected several offerings because of what’s in them.

MSG is out for sure and we decided to cut one product due to Yellow 5…but then we hit several other items that appear to be less clear-cut: BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone), Propylene Glycol and Glyceryl Monooleate.  Ultimately we decided to cut them because we’ve gotten this far without crossing that line, and because that isn’t really the sort of food I want to sell on the Marx Foods store.

That said, if you’ve got an argument that we’re being over-paranoid and should bring them into the fold, I’d love to hear it.  We’re not food scientists and we definitely make it a point to err on the side of purity, quality and sustainability whenever possible…maybe sometimes we’re cutting off our proverbial nose to spite our faces?

NEWS FLASH – USDA Says You Don’t Have to Ruin Your Pork Anymore

We’ve struggled with what final internal temperature to recommend when people call asking about cooking kurobuta pork

On the one hand, the USDA recommended a final temperature of 165 for safety reasons.  On the other hand, an internal temperature of 165 is a horrible thing to do to some of the finest pork available.

On May 24th the USDA revised their recommendation for whole pork cuts (i.e. not ground pork).  The new guideline is 145 degrees, with at least a three minute rest between cooking and consuming. 

Read the Official USDA Press Release

The pro chef community has long regarded the FDA as a stick-in-the mud when it came to safety vs. quality on the cooking temperature issue (which is why you always see those tiny warnings on the bottom of restaurant menus warning about the risks of consuming “undercooked” meat & eggs).  They reliably err on the side of telling you what’s absolutely, positively bad bacteria free (insofar as you can be sure of anything).  So it’s a big deal that they’ve done the math and realized that any bad bacteria will be toast after that three minute rest. 

Besides, you were already resting your meat anyway…right?

(Why You Should Rest Meat)

Ridiculous Delicious Update … and, should we be paternalistic?

Ridiculously Delicious Challenge Update:  Sorry that we delayed and then delayed again.  I am still reeling from 70 hour weeks in December.  Trying to get all those brain cells firing again and I am struggling to motivate.  We ARE working on it though.  Expect an announcement this week.

Whether or not to be paternalistic with food choices?  I am constantly conflicted regarding whether we should take a tough position on what we do and don’t sell.  I know that we aren’t going to ever sell the worst of the worst.  For example, I have my brother and father in my ear almost weekly about how we can make boatloads of money selling foie gras.  I agree with them, but I don’t give a fuck.  Foie is on my dirty dozen list.  A much more difficult question is whether we should sell the duck legs and breasts that are a by-product of foie production.  Still undecided on that one.

One thing is certain: that we write our product descriptions to give as much information about the product as possible, regardless of, for example, whether it pisses off one of our truffle oil producers that we state that their product may contain petroleum flavoring extracts.  And, we use the word “may” because the truffle product industry is as non-transaparent as possible, so we really don’t know.

In the office, I often state that “I reserve the right to contradict myself” on many matters … product selections being one of them.  This week we got in a few dozen varieties of dried fruit samples, most of which we’ll be adding to the store in bulk.  Among the many fruits was both a natural dried papaya (ingredients: papaya) and a more conventional dried papaya (ingredients: papaya, sugar, sulfur dioxide, FD&C yellow #5 and #6).  Obviously, we are adding the former.  But, some people might actually want the latter because it’s color is vibrant orange or because it is less expensive.  (natural on the left, other on the right)

My instinct is to just sell the natural papaya … but is that too big brotherish?  Does disclosing the ingredients (which we always try to do) go far enough?  Or, should we simply avoid the non-natural papaya?

It was definitely a fun way to wrap up a Friday … a bottle of champagne and tasting a few dozen dried fruits, including some really interesting varieties like cantaloupe, persimmon, etc.

The Prohibited List

I regard myself as a progressive eater. Like other aspects of my life, I am looking for win-wins … foods that bring me quality, purity and high green and animal welfare standards. I am not perfect, but I am constantly trying to be more and more so. is kind of the same, but there is an added requirement: profitability. It is part of the inherent conflict in business between sound social/enviro choices and choices that lead to maximum profits.

We don’t trumpet our eco or humane credentials very often because corporate green-washing is a pet peeve of mine and we have a handful of achilles heels on that front. But, if you look at our product offerings, there is a sustainable/humane thread running through many of our product categories.

A customer asked us today to source tiger prawns for them and we had to politely decline. There are few special requests that we decline. What we have decided is that we aren’t going to tell people how to eat, but we also aren’t going sell the foods that I avoid at all costs. Farmed salmon tops that list, along with tiger prawns, milk-fed veal, foie gras and wild turtle meat.

Foie gras is a particularly tricky one for me, because our sister companies sell it to distributors and restaurants. Certainly, if we offered it through the web, we could make a lot of money. My partners like to remind me of this.

I am constantly conflicted about whether to wield my own biases and judgments when it comes to not selling something. Any thoughts on this? Should we just sell everything that foodies might want? Should we add more items to the prohibited list and if so, which items?