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

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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.

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TASCHEN
Everything You Need to Know About Food in One Book
TASCHEN
TASCHEN

If you find yourself mixing up nigiri and sashimi at sushi restaurants or don’t know which fruits are in season, then this is the book for you. Food & Drink Infographics, published by TASCHEN, is a colorful and comprehensive guide to all things food and drink.

The book combines tips and tricks with historical context about the ways in which different civilizations illustrated and documented the foods they ate, as well as how humans went from hunter-gatherers to modern-day epicureans. As for the infographics, there’s a helpful graphic explaining the number of servings provided by different cake sizes, a heat index of various chilies, a chart of cheeses, and a guide to Italian cold cuts, among other delectable charts.

The 480-page coffee table book, which can be purchased on Amazon for $56, is written in three languages: English, French, and German. The infographics themselves come from various sources, and the text is provided by Simone Klabin, a New York City-based writer and lecturer on film, art, culture, and children’s media.

Keep scrolling to see a few of the infographics featured in the book.

An infographic about cheese
TASCHEN

An infographic about cakes
Courtesy of TASCHEN

An infographic about fruits in season
Courtesy of TASCHEN
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How Rich the U.S. Is Compared to the Rest of the World, Visualized
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iStock

The U.S. is often called the richest country in the world. But how rich is it, really? A new infographic from How Much, spotted by Digg, explores the average household income across the 36 countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). As you can see in the graphic below, the U.S. is, on average, quite rich compared to most other countries.

The infographic explores finances on two different levels. The size of each bubble corresponds to household wealth: in other words, assets minus debts. That means it takes into account savings, stocks, and other financial assets as well as loans. (It doesn't include property holdings due to a lack of data, so it doesn't encompass the big boost of wealth that comes from say, owning a penthouse overlooking Central Park in New York City.) As you can see, the U.S.'s bubble is a pretty big outlier. On average, U.S. families have a net worth of $176,100, compared to just $128,400 in the second-wealthiest country on the map, Switzerland.

Colored bubbles represent household income and wealth across the OCED
How Much

The colors of the bubbles correspond to "household net adjusted disposable income," as the OECD refers to it, which has to do with the money you bring in each year rather than what you own. That takes into account salary, income from things like stock dividends and rental properties, and government benefits (like Social Security, unemployment, food stamps, or housing subsidies). It also takes into account what each household pays in taxes, providing a snapshot of the take-home pay people actually have available to spend, rather than their pre-tax salary.

The U.S. has relatively high salaries, at $44,000 a year (the top of the scale) in disposable income. Only Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Norway have disposable income levels greater than $35,000. Mexico falls at the bottom of the scale, with average adjusted disposable incomes of less than $15,000. Most of Western Europe falls within the $25,100 to $30,000 range, while income in Eastern Europe, Israel, South Korea, and New Zealand is a little lower.

There could be a lot going on behind this data, though. The U.S. has an increasingly stratified economic system, so while the averages seem fairly high, that's probably because the few billionaires among us are skewing the numbers. The U.S. also doesn't have the social safety net offered by governments in much of the rest of the world, meaning that while we have relatively high salaries and pay lower taxes in some cases, we have to pay for things like healthcare and retirement on our own.

Read more about the OECD numbers here.

[h/t Digg]

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