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

iStock
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.

12 Unique Sleeping Habits Around the World

iStock.com/YinYang
iStock.com/YinYang

Want to take naps at work without getting into trouble? Move to Japan. The practice of inemuri—which roughly translates to “sleeping on duty” or “sleeping while present”—is surprisingly well accepted.

It’s just one of the unique sleeping habits featured in a new infographic from Plank by Brooklyn Bedding. Created in recognition of National Sleep Awareness Month (which is happening right now), it includes information about sleeping patterns and behaviors around the world, from the healthy to the not-so-healthy.

Japan appears in the infographic a couple of times. In addition to sleeping on thin tatami mats, the habit of dozing off in public or at work is regarded as “a show of how tired a person is from working so hard,” according to the bedding company. While it’s certainly a symptom of an overworked culture, it’s also a luxury in some ways. Because of the country’s low crime rate, Japanese commuters can typically sleep on the subway without worrying about their belongings being stolen.

Beyond Asia, the practice of “al fresco naps” in Scandinavian countries are another cultural quirk. Many parents take their babies and toddlers outside to sleep in the winter—even in temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s because the fresh air is believed to keep them healthy and ward off illness. They also believe outdoor naps improve the quality and duration of their sleep.

In Australia, Aboriginal communities engage in “group sleep”—essentially large slumber parties, but with a more practical purpose. “Beds or mattresses are lined up in a row with the strongest people sleeping on the ends, protecting young children or elderly in the middle,” Brooklyn Bedding writes.

Check out the infographic below to learn more about sleep habits around the world, including the reason why 30 percent of people in the UK sleep naked.

A sleep habits infographic
Plank by Brooklyn Bedding

Here's How Daylight Saving Time Affects Your Part of the Country

Andy Woodruff
Andy Woodruff

Daylight saving time was created to benefit Americans, but not every part of the country is affected equally. Within the Eastern time zone, for instance, the sun rises a whole 40 minutes earlier in New York City than it does in Detroit. To illustrate how daylight saving time impacts sunrise and sunset times around the county, cartographer Andy Woodruff published a series of helpful maps on his website.

Below, the map on the left depicts how many days of reasonable sunrise time—defined as 7 a.m. or earlier—each part of the country is getting. The regions in the yellow sections have the most days with early sunrises and the darker parts have the fewest. On the right, the second map shows how many sunsets past 5 p.m. we’re getting each year, which appear to be a lot more abundant

Next, he visualized what these sunrise and sunset times would look like if daylight saving were abolished completely, something many people have been pushing for years. While our sunset times remain pretty much the same, the mornings start to look a lot sunnier for people all over the country, especially in places like West Texas.

And for those of you who were curious, here’s what America would look like if daylight saving time were in effect year-round. While mornings would look miserable pretty much everywhere, there’d at least be plenty of sunshine to enjoy once we got off work.

You can tinker with an interactive version of the daylight saving map on Woodruff’s blog.

All images courtesy of Andy Woodruff.

This article originally ran in 2015.

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