A Good President

September 24, 2010


I reached into my gym fridge the other day to eat some duck mousse pate from D'Artagnan Foods. I was looking forward to the creamy, rich flavor and enjoy the fact that I was eating something healthy. I've had some of their products before in the past and have enjoyed them.

As I turned over the dish to check the fat and protein content so that I could smile knowing that I was eating something really fatty, horror struck. On the front of the product it said:

"Made with duck liver & duck fat."

But the flip side revealed more ingredients:

"Made with milk, corn starch and hydrolized soy protein."

Disgusted and disappointed, I instantly wrote to the company:

Dear D’Artagnon –

I recently bought a dish of your Mousse Basquaise duck liver. On the front it says “”Made with Duck Liver & Duck Fat with Red Bell Peppers and Port Wine.”

Today as I opened it to eat for breakfast, I turned it over to read the protein content and much to my dismay, I saw further ingredients not listed on the front – milk, corn starch and hydrolyzed soy! The milk is not so bad but the corn starch and soy are awful. Why in the world would you add these garbage ingredients to an otherwise fantastic product?

Until you remove these unhealthy fillers from your products I will no longer buy D’Artagnan products. I will also alert everyone I know about this.

To his credit, the President of the company emailed me back that day:

Dear Mr. Hahn,

Thanks for your feedback and I’ll try to address your concerns here.

Unlike other products of this nature, we use no pork in our product, so there is no saturated fat to make an emulsion. As a result ,we need to add natural binders to help the emulsion occur (which results in a smooth mousse). In our experience, Corn starch and hydrolized soy are not bad. They are natural "flours" derived from 2 cereals.

Long-time consumers and customers know D’Artagnan is committed to using only the best and freshest products and ingredients. We have built our reputation on that.

I respect your expertise and right to disagree. That said, I hope you will reconsider your stance against us but at the very least I thank you for your comments.

Andy Wertheim, President
D’Artagnan, Inc.

Alright so I was a bit of a goon for going off like that in haste. But it really riled me that these god awful ingredients were not on the front. And whether or not he is right about the saturated fat being necessary to make it creamy, I don't know (duck fat does have 35% saturated fat). But that he wrote back so quickly shows that he is a good President.

Now I like his company even more.