Food is the most vital requirement for every human being. It provides nutrients and energy for the proper functioning of the body. Basically food is a means of survival for all of us. Moreover, who does not enjoy gobbling up a whole slice of pizza or drooling over a piece of hot steaming momos! However there are some countries that might prohibit the consumption of certain food due to political, religious or health concerns. Therefore, here is a list of foods on which certain countries impose a ban and also prevents its consumption in any form. Let’s begin without any further ado. I hope, these banned foods will really surprise and shock you.
1. SAMOSAS – THE BANNED INDIAN DELICACY
Let’s begin with the most loved favorite tea-time snack of India. This deep-fried delicious Indian goodness is banned in Somalia. Yes, you heard it right! This amazing delicacy stuffed with different fillings like potato, paneer or even meat was banned in Somalia in the year 2011. It is the shape of the samosa that landed it up in the list of “Banned Food Items”. As per, Al- Shabab, an Islamic group in Somalia, the triangular shape of the Samosa is deemed as “too Christian”. That is, its triangular shape resembles the symbol of the Holy Trinity in Christianity. Hence, this mouth watering snack has been banned in Somalia! Strange, right?
2. KETCHUP – THE BANNED DIP
Who doesn’t love taking a bite of their favorite snack by dipping it in a bowl filled with Ketchup. However, if you are someone who loves having ketchup with every favorite snack of yours, you are definitely going to hate this. France is famous for its elaborate and illustrious cuisine in the whole world. The French Government banned the consumption of tomato ketchup in elementary schools. Therefore, the government banned its consumption not to let the taste of ketchup overpower the authentic flavors of French cuisine!
3. BELUGA CAVIAR – THE BANNED LUXURY
The US bans the import of Beluga Caviar, a very luxurious dish costing more than $200 per ounce. They banned its consumption as the caviar or eggs belong to the endangered species of fish, Beluga Sturgeon. The Beluga fish primarily inhabits the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea basins. Due to their reducing numbers, US banned the consumption of this luxurious food item in order to protect this endangered species of fish. Therefore, US emerges as one of the countries to ban food due to environmental reasons.
4. FOODS CONTAINING ARTIFICIAL TRANS FAT
More than 20 million people die every year due to cardiovascular diseases. One of the main reasons was due to the consumption of fast food containing artificial trans fat. Food items like chips, pastries or junk foods have higher concentrations of trans fat. Consuming foods containing high concentrations of this bad can lead to heart problems, cholesterol and even stroke. Therefore, in September 2018 Canada officially outlawed artificial trans fat from all food items. It comes under the category of “list of contaminants and other adulterating substances”. Many countries including Belgium, UK, US, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Argentina and Brazil bans and regulates the consumption of trans fat.
5. FUGU FISH – THE BANNED ‘POISON’ FISH
Fugu fish is a Japanese delicacy, and it is so poisonous that a smallest mistake in its preparation can be very fatal. This fish is the most dangerous food item as it contains the poison Tetrodotoxin. It is 1000 times more poisonous than cyanide, which means that a tiny amount of this poison is enough to take the life of a person. Therefore, the consumption of this fish has been banned in many countries, including the US. Moreover, you can only cook this fish if you have a license and obviously the expertise and practice! Chefs having a proper license can only cook Fugu fish as they know how to reduce the amount of tetrodotoxin. Scary, right!
6. ARSENIC LACED CHICKENS
Arsenic is a naturally occurring element but is a poison for our bodies. Acute arsenic poisoning can lead to diarrhea, vomiting and cardiac problems. This poison in the form of drugs is injected into the chickens to fatten them up in an unnatural way. This makes their skin look pink. Therefore, the European Union outlaws the sale and consumption of Arsenic-laced chickens due to its negative impact on health.
7. CHEWING GUMS
Singapore is famous for its strict laws and regulations for maintaining the law and order in the country. However, there are many obscure items that ‘Garden City’ bans and chewing gums top its list. The ban was imposed in 1992 as people were sticking gums on the door sensors of the mass rapid transit trains. These ‘sticky gums’ led to the poor functioning of these trains. In Singapore, a person caught selling chewing gum has to spend 5 years in prison or pay a fine of $1000. However, people can chew nicotine gums to give up their smoking habits!
8. KINDER SURPRISE
Kinder Joy is popular among kids for it’s egg-shaped structure and the little toy that comes along with it, for them to play with. It is the best alternative for ‘Easter Eggs’. However, these little treaties suffer a ban in the US. The main reason for its ban was that the small parts of the plastic toy can be a choking hazard for the kids. These Kinder Surprises are legal in Mexico and Canada, but importing them in the US is illegal. Moreover, Ferrero’s Kinder Joy is available in the US but the toy and the chocolate come with a separation.
9. HORSE MEAT
For those who relish eating meat and other non-vegetarian products, beware as the UK and US outlaws the killing of horses. It is a taboo in these countries due to their long history and culture that is associates with horse. We can never imagine a beautiful carriage without horses, right? Similarly, horses are mythological creatures as per the beliefs of Native Americans. Whereas people eat horse meat in other countries, including China which has the largest market for horse meat.
10. FOIE GRAS
The translation of Foie Gras in English literally means “fatty liver”. It is a popular delicacy in France and is made from the liver of a duck or a goose. This delicacy suffers a ban in 14 countries around the world and 22 US states and also in Australia, Argentina and many other European countries. Various countries ban Foie Gras because of the inhuman procedure that these innocent birds have to go through that makes their livers expand to 10 times bigger than its normal size. They are force fed to eat 4-5 pounds of food every day using a metallic tube in their necks. This process is repeated until the bird’s liver expands. Therefore many countries have banned this delicacy due to the inhumane process.
Haggis is Scotland’s National Savory pudding. But the food has been banned in America since 1971. People prepare this delicacy from sheep’s heart, lungs and liver minced with onion and other seasonings. The Food Standard Agency in America bans its consumption and prohibits the commercialization of sheep lungs that is the main ingredient of this pudding.
12. UNPASTEURIZED RAW MILK
Milk has great nutritive value, but raw or unpasteurized milk can depreciate your health because of the presence of micro-organisms. Therefore, US bans the consumption of unpasteurized milk as it can contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria , Campylobacter and others that can cause food borne illnesses. In fact, in Canada a person can go to prison for selling or supplying raw milk.
13. CASU MARZU
Basically Casu Marzu refers to “rotten cheese”. It is also known as “maggot cheese”. This peculiar cheese is prepared by injecting larvae of flies inside a Pecorino cheese. The larvae digests the cheese that aids in its fermentation. This cheese suffers a ban because the larvae inside can end up in a person’s intestine that can attack the internal organs. Hence, it is fair that the US imposes a ban on this cheese!
Absinthe is one of the strongest alcoholic drinks in the world. It originated in France. Despite this fact, France has imposed a ban on Absinthe for more than 100 years. Not only France, but it suffers a ban in countries like Australia, New Zealand and the US. The main reason for its ban is because of the aggressive behavior and hallucinations that people suffer from after having this drink!
Sweden bans the sale of popular chocolate candy M&Ms from the year 2016 as per the court rule that the candy’s packaging and marketing resembles that of “M by Marabou”. “M by Marabou” also uses the lower case “m” and is owned by Mondelez International. However, M&Ms can be sold in Sweden but only if Mars alters it’s marketing and packaging. Clearly, it has not done it so far. Therefore, it seems that M&Ms still suffer from a ban in Sweden.