Speed Reading — Foie Gras - Level 6 — 500 wpm 

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Many top chefs in New York City are up in arms over a proposed ban on foie gras - the specialty food that is a common aspect of haute cuisine. Foie gras is made from the livers of ducks and geese. The birds are force-fed with corn to enlarge their liver up to ten times their normal size. Animal rights groups say this causes the birds unnecessary suffering. The New York City council unanimously voted to ban sales of the controversial food. The bill will: "Prohibit retail food establishments or food service establishments from storing, maintaining, selling, or offering to sell force-fed products or food containing a force-fed product." A council spokesperson said: "The council is banning a really cruel and inhumane practice."

Farmers are considering suing New York City. One farmer told reporters: "We will not let this restriction on New Yorkers' freedom of choice go unchallenged in the courts, and we intend to file a lawsuit." Ariane Daguin, from a food manufacturer, said many chefs were likely to order more foie gras because they are so angry. She said: "There are 1,000 restaurants in New York City who have foie gras on their menu right now. They are all very incensed." Ms Daguin added: "Not one council member has made any effort to learn about the foie gras process and all have refused to visit the farms to understand the process first-hand." Foie gras is big business. One liver can retail for as much as $125.

Comprehension questions
  1. What phrase in the first sentence means 'very angry'?
  2. What kind of food is foie gras a 'common aspect' of?
  3. What are ducks and geese force-fed with to produce foie gras?
  4. How close was the vote to pass the foie gras ban?
  5. What did the New York council say force-feeding was?
  6. What are farmers considering doing to New York City council?
  7. What did the farmers say they could not let go?
  8. How many New York restaurants have foie gras on their menu?
  9. What did a food manufacturer say council members did not visit?
  10. How much can one foie gras liver cost?

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