Foods and Snacks that were banned from the U.S

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McKenna Moon

     Food is an important part of a countries’ history and culture, especially in the United States. The U.S features local favorites such as Boxed Macaroni-and-Cheese and Pizza. Despite this, some foods are practically impossible to find and consume anywhere in the United States because they are on the banned foods list. 


  • Beluga Caviar- Unfortunately this delicate caviar made its way onto the banned food list because of the overfishing of the Beluga Sturgeon from Caspian Sea Basin. As a result, these special fish are a protected species and it is now illegal to sell and to import the Beluga Caviar into the United States. These Sturgeon are now protected as a threatened species under the Federal Endangered Species act.
  • Foie Gras- While you can still eat this dish in some parts of the country, it is banned in the state of California. “Foie Gras,” this French term means fatty liver. It is the liver of a goose or a duck being fattened by force-feeding (also known as Gavage) and can lead to a very painful disease called Hepatomegaly. When Hepatomegaly occurs, you can get medications to help the enlarged liver to decrease in size. Their liver can increase in size up to 10 times their normal size. 

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  • Swan- Like many other species on the banned food list, certain types of Swan are very endangered. Legally, Swans have received special protection since 1482. Two species of Swan that are extremely endangered are the Trumpeter Swan and the Tundra Swan. Hunting and eating the Tundra Swan is illegal in some areas of the United States but the Trumpeter Swans are illegal to hunt and eat across most of the world. For those who have eaten the swan describe it as deep red, lean, moist, and succulent. It is said that it tastes more like a duck than a goose. 
  • Bushmeat- The term “bushmeat” refers to African Wildlife which may pose a communicable disease. Some of which are endangered species and are still killed and consumed in Africa. Importing that type of meat into the U.S and some other countries is illegal because of the hygiene risks and status of the endangered species. Some types of Bushmeat are bats, monkeys, snakes, cane rats and antelope. For those who have eaten it, it is described as rich and smokey.
  • Queen Conch- Throughout the Caribbean, Queen Conch has been overfished because of its delicious meat. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S is merely responsible for  “the consumption of 80% of the world’s internationally traded Queen Conch.” Queen Conch has a very sweet, slightly smoky flavor, similar to a clam. It also has a little bit of a crunch.

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  • Mont d’Or- This holy grail of French Cheese is only made once a year between August 15 and March 15. It is made with unpasteurized milk so it can’t be sold in the states, “In a 2016 interview with Vogue, cheese connoisseur chef Ryan Hardy said, ‘By French AOC certification law, it cannot be made from pasteurized milk, so it can never be allowed in the United States. Its unctuous, creamy pate is only eaten when you peel back the rind. It’s then that you realize it’s the gangster, white truffle of all cheeses. This is the black market cheese.’ ” It is said to have a particular buttery texture.     
  • Black Pudding- This special pudding contains sheep’s lungs and animal blood which is illegal to import into the U.S despite it being a regular menu item in the U.K. The lungs and blood are mixed with fat and oatmeal then, made into a sausage through casing it. Producers have also made Vegan options for this Pudding. It is filled with lots of nutrition. And comes with lots of health benefits.

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  • Bird Nest’s Soup- This soup is a favorite dish in Asian countries. It is made from the solidified saliva of Swiftlets. Swiftlets are bird nests that are rich in calcium, iron, and magnesium. The reason it isn’t in the U.S is because of the health risks. The FDA believes that they could play host to the Influenza Virus. Edible bird nests are the most expensive animal products that are consumed by humans.
  • Ortolan- Ortolan are little songbirds that according to the French, are delicious. These birds are captured, force-fed, then drowned in Armagnac before being fully cooked. After being cooked they are then consumed whole, even with the beak. These bird’s have recently also been facing extinction. As a result, they have been banned from entering the United States.

     An anonymous 7th grader says, “One food that I could never live without are definitely burgers. A beverage that I couldn’t live without is Root Beer. If those were gone, I would go for some healthy Italian food.”

     There is a variety of foods that are on the banned foods list for America. Every country has its cultures and history, including food. Even the U.S has its products that are banned in other parts of the world. Depending on the country you’re in, some foods are forbidden to eat!