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French People Soon to Be Just as Fat as Americans as Fast Food Chain Introduces Foie Gras Burgers

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Quick, France’s home-grown, government-sponsored version of McDonald’s, has upped its stakes in the competition with other fast-food chains by offering up a little piece of France’s cultural soul at 5 euros a hit.

Quick announced Monday that it would sell its “Supreme Foie Gras” burgers -- duck liver, beef, relish and lettuce on a bun -- for around $5 in terms of European spending money from Dec. 17 to 19. The prices are an early Joyeux Noel from the company, Quick says.

"We want to give our clients great taste at cheap prices and give them the possibility to party a little ahead of time," Quick's Marketing Director Laurent Niewolinski, eerily echoing a schoolyard pusher, told Reuters.

Foie gras is extracted from a duck that’s been force-fed and fattened up to unnatural proportions. Its fatty liver has been a delicacy for centuries. In declaring foie gras “part of France’s protected cultural and gastronomic patrimony,” French law has effectively outgunned animal rights activists who decry the treatment of the ducks as inhumane. Since nearly 80 percent of the world’s foie gras is produced in France, the law is also good for business.

And what’s good for business is good for France -- the Quick chain belongs to French government-owned fund manager Caisse des Depots et Consignations. If the citizenry develops a hankering for the burger, it can feel a little pang of patriotism -- or atherosclerosis -- each time it waddles up to the counter.

There’s even a Quick iPhone app that lets users know tout de suite how far they are from their next possible encounter with a fatted duck liver.
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