Texas to America: Food Bans Are for Weirdos
There are some foods that aren't legally available in Texas due to federal import bans. Haggis from Scotland, for example, is banned because of restriction on importing sheep's lung. The Kinder Surprise, the Italian-produced chocolate egg filled with toys, has been banned because of the choking hazard that comes from filling a candy with small plastic objects.
A lot of states have their own food bans, though. California has been dealing with a ban on the sale of foie gras since 2012, largely because force-feeding ducks and geese to produce extra-fatty liver is considered inhumane.
Mississippi even enacted a ban against food bans in reaction to New York City's attempted ban on sodas (most obese state for the win). But here are a few foods you might be surprised you can find in Texas.
Raw Milk The debate over unpasteurized milk is tense. The FDA is really not a fan of it, but there are no federal regulations banning it nation-wide. Most states have their own regulations for it, but by now more than half allow some kind of sale of it. It's legal in Texas but only can only be sold at the point of production, much to the chagrin of the Texas Real Milk movement (only four states allow it to be sold in retail stores).
Shark Fin Shark fin is another food that's banned in multiple states because of inhumane harvesting practices. Fishermen pull up a shark, slice off its dorsal fin and then toss the shark back into the water, where it promptly dies. California also banned shark fin at the start of this year, and opponents of the law claimed that it discriminated against Asian Americans since the dish was so popular in Chinese cuisine. Appeals courts were unconvinced though. Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Oregon and Washington also ban it, but half of those are states no one cares about. Texans can enjoy all the shark fin soup they want.
Blood Technically the only state in the country to specifically ban the consumption of blood is Louisiana. And it is very specific: it is illegal to ingest blood, urine or feces for ritual purposes. The good news is that the general eating of blood is fine, so you can still have all the boudin noir you want while visiting, you just can't eat it if the sausage has any kind of religious significance for you. In the Lone Star State, though, personal liberty and and freedom of religion are tantamount. People are free to eat as much holy blood sausage as they want, along with Swedish blood soup, blood tofu and ... I guess whatever dishes one would make from urine or feces.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Dallas dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.