10 Foods and Drinks Forbidden in the United States

Just because a food is edible doesn’t mean it is legal. From reasons ranging from health concerns to species preservation, here is a list of 10 foods and drinks that are banned in the United States:

1. Absinthe
This highly alcoholic drink has been mostly banned in the United States because of rumored psychoactive ingredient, wormwood. The U.S. currently allows absinthe to be sold if it does not include this ingredient, but absinthe without wormwood is just alcohol with food coloring.

2. Sassafras Oil
Sassafras Oil used to be the main flavoring for root beer, but was banned in the United States after studies found it caused cancer in lab rats.

3. Ackee
This pear-shaped fruit is the national fruit of Jamaica but is banned in the United States. Scientists have found the toxins with the raw fruit are able to suppress a body’s ability to dispense additional supplies of glucose. This blockage could result in bottoming out blood sugar levels, resulting, in some cases, in death.

4. Japanese Puffer Fish
While served as a delicacy by expert chefs in Japan, the Japanese Puffer Fish is banned on multiple levels in the United States. One can face criminal charges for selling, harvesting, or even serving this Pacific swimmer. The reason being its killer  skin which contains tetrodotoxin. Tetrodotoxin is extremely poisonous and can paralyze and kill a person by asphyxiation.

5. Redfish
Sale of redfish is banned in every state except for Mississippi. Redfish was banned after a 1980s craze of the dish caused the fish to become endangered.

6. Wild Beluga Caviar
This caviar, coming from the wild Beluga sturgeon, was also banned because of protection reasons. In the early 2000s, state popularity in the dish resulted in a ban by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

7. Kinder Eggs
Sort of like a fortune cookie, these German chocolate eggs were banned in the United States after it was deemed the candy’s inside toy was a choking hazard for young children.

8. Horse Meat
While consuming horse meat is technically legal, the slaughter of horses for the purpose of human consumption was banned in June 2010. This recent legislature was passed in order to extend the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.

9. Casu Marzu

This Sardinian cheese is made when a fly larvae is introduced to the cheese in order to promote fermentation. The larvae eats through the cheese after hatching, softening the food and making the ideal Casu Marzu. It is supposed to be eaten before the death of these maggots, and has been banned in the U.S. as an unpasteurized cheese.

10. Four Loko (the original)
The mix of alcohol and caffeine was deemed too dangerous by the FDA, and subsequently banned for the youth’s sake.


This article was written by Hayley Granton, who is a drug counselor, author and blogger residing in Florida. If you or someone you know is battling drug or alcohol addiction, Delray Recovery Center can help. For more information on the dangers of drugs, visit drugscope.org.uk.

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