15 (Mostly) Normal Foods That Are Banned in Countries Around the World

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iStock

Could you live without ketchup, chewing gum, or delightfully stinky French cheese? Depending on where you live, you might not have a choice.

An infographic created by Magnet, a kitchen retailer in the UK, reveals 15 foods that have been banned around the world. Most of the items have been banned due to health concerns, but there are a few surprises on the list.

France, for instance, practically outlawed mayonnaise and ketchup in schools in an effort to uphold its culinary traditions, which apparently don’t include drowning a hot dog in sugary tomato syrup. “We have to ensure children become familiar with French recipes so that they can hand them down to the following generation,” Christophe Hebert of the National Association of Directors of Collective Restaurants said at the time of the ban in 2011. One day a week, though, students are permitted to eat their frites with ketchup.

Russia’s ban on foreign cheese and meat imports in 2017 was primarily political, but cheesemakers in the country weren’t complaining about the boost in business they received soon after. Singapore’s 1992 crackdown on chewing gum, meanwhile, was enacted in an effort to make the streets less sticky. Indeed, Singapore consistently ranks among the world’s cleanest cities.

The U.S. forbids several items from being sold, including haggis, black pudding, and ackee fruit—the latter of which can induce "Jamaican Vomiting Sickness" if it's eaten before it's ripe.

Scroll down to learn more about the rationale behind 15 banned foods around the world.

Amazon's Best Cyber Monday Deals on Tablets, Wireless Headphones, Kitchen Appliances, and More

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Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

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See What the World’s Reading Habits Look Like in 2020

Christin Hume, Unsplash
Christin Hume, Unsplash

When most of the world went into lockdown at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people found themselves with a lot of extra free time. Some people used that time to bake bread, make crafts, or play video games. For the bibliophiles of the world, quarantine was the perfect chance to burn through their pile of books to read. This infographic shows how reading habits changed across the globe in 2020.

The editing and proofreading service Global English Editing gathered these statistics from various sources, including Pew Research and Amazon's bestsellers page. It found 35 percent of web users worldwide reported reading more during the pandemic, and 14 percent said they read significantly more. This trend was most dramatic in China, where 44 percent of respondents said they increased their reading time due to the coronavirus.

This uptick became apparent in March 2020, when many countries implemented coronavirus lockdowns for the first time. There were 1.51 billion visits to book and literature e-commerce sites that month—an 8.5 percent increase from the month before. As for what books people are reading, apocalyptic fiction like Stephen King's The Stand has been popular in the age of COVID-19.

For a full snapshot of the world's reading habits at this point in history, check out the infographic below.