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Here are some weird and whacky food laws from around the world:

  • France banned the use of tomato ketchup in elementary schools in 2011. Children tend to use ketchup to hide the taste of food, and the French authorities thought this was nothing less than an assault on their culture.
  • In Singapore, it is illegal to buy or chew gum – unless you have a doctor’s note! Gum has been illegal in Singapore for over 20 years, but in 2004 the authorities relented and will allow it for those with a note from their doctor. I am not sure what medical reason one would have to chew gum, but you better think one up.
  • In Belgium, it is legal to throw brussel sprouts at tourists. Not just “not illegal”, but specifically legal! I bet this one has it roots in a bad joke by a foreign tourist and a locals over-reaction.
  • You cannot crush a beer can between your breasts in Australia. Ohhh-kayyy.
  • If you are drunk in Scotland, you cannot be in possession of a cow. I would like to know the facts of the incident that inspired that law.

Lest you think the only the rest of the world is crazy, here are some from the good ole’ USA:

  • In Gainesville, GA, it is illegal to eat chicken any way OTHER than using your fingers. This sounds like one of those laws designed to get in the news but not really be enforced, but some guy was arrested in 2009 for violating it.
  • You cannot eat a watermelon in a park in Beech Gove, Indiana. Seems strange, but apparently they were having a problem with leftover watermelon rinds making a mess, which spurred the law.
  • In Wisconsin, it is illegal to serve margarine to inmates, patients or students. I have a feeling this has to do with their pride over local butter, but I cannot find the backstory.
  • In Broward County, Florida, hot dog stand vendors cannot wear scanty clothing that show too much skin. The law specifically names some body parts, and parts of body parts, you are not allowed to show – which I won’t name here for fear of showing up in an inappropriate Google search.