With the US banning Kinder Eggs and Denmark temporarily stopping the import of Marmite, not a day passes where we don’t thank our lucky stars for living in the UK. Imagine a life without Marmite on toast and Kinder Surprise. Shudders. It’s not even worth thinking about.
As it turns out, though, there’s a fair few foods and ingredients that are banned in the UK, too. To be fair, some appear to be banned for some pretty good reasons (like potential death), but we still sort of feel like we’re missing out a bit.
Here are 8 foods you’ll have to travel outside of the UK to finally try:
1. Arsenic-Laced Chicken
Ahh yes. I wonder why chicken laced with a poisonous substance is banned from the UK (and the European Union in general…). Could it be that it’s, y’know, poison, and has in fact been shown to cause cancer? Maybe that’s got something to do with it.
Either way, arsenic-laced chicken is something you’ll find in the US, since it makes their blood vessels appear pinker – and therefore fresher. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say that the levels of arsenic used are too small to affect humans, the E.U. is having none of it.
Despite being considered a delicacy in Japan, pufferfish has received a terrifying reputation thanks to the fact one fish contains enough poison to kill 30 adults! Because of this, chefs have to be specially trained before they even think about preparing the fish. And even the Emperor of Japan is forbidden from eating it!
Because of how fatal the fish can be if not prepared properly, the pufferfish is banned across the European Union. All the more reason for us to travel to Japan then, eh?
3. Bread With Potassium Bromate
Here in the UK we’ve managed to cope without potassium bromate for all these years, which is just as well. In America it’s big business for helping to strengthen the dough and encourage higher rising, despite being linked to everything from cancer to kidney damage and thyroid problems. Think we’ll stick to our loaf of Hovis for now…
4. Pink Slime
It may look like something out of Men in Black, but pink slime is actually meat – well, as close as. Its official (Wikipedia) description is that it’s a ‘meat-based product used as a food additive’ to things like ground beef, either as a fat reductor or as a filler product.
Not only does it look a bit gross, but the ‘meat’ is also more likely to carry pathogens since it’s pulled from the bone. None of this has escaped the notice of Jamie Oliver. He successfully waged a war against McDonald’s to ban it from their burgers in the US. Thankfully we don’t have any problems with it here in the UK since the EU has completely banned it!
Sannakji is considered a real delicacy in Korea, and to all intents and purposes there’s a real art to it. It consists of nakji (a small octopus) that has been cut into small pieces and then immediately served. The only problem with it is that there’s a high risk of choking. Or asphyxiation. Neither of which are very desirable outcomes after a nice meal. Unsurprisingly, Sannakji has received a blanket ban in Britain…
6. Pork Infused With Ractopamine
Only 27 countries (including the US, Japan and Canada) deem pork infused with ractopamine suitable for human consumption. And, spoiler alert, the UK isn’t one of them.
Ractopamine has been seen to cause various health issues including weight gain and increased heart rate. Despite this, it’s still fed to pigs and cattle in order to make them more muscular while reducing fat content (which ultimately makes them more money…).
7. Blood Clams
We can’t say that we fancy eating something that gives us a 15% chance of contracting hepatitis, but hey…whatever floats your boat.
So called because they’re parboiled for 20 seconds to keep an excessive amount of blood and sweetness, blood clams can be home to a variety of viruses and bacteria. Like typhoid, dysentery and Hepatitis. Luckily, we can try slightly fresher blood clams in New York, but you won’t find any in Britain. They’re completely banned.
8. Genetically Engineered Papaya
Forget half-alive tiny octopus and clams filled with blood. The last item on our list is relatively mild in comparison. Nevertheless, it’s no less dangerous – at least according to the EU bigwigs.
Papayas received a little bit of genetic assistance in order to keep them safer from infection, particularly ringspot virus which devastated US crops in the ‘90s. However, experts have seen animals being fed genetically engineered suffering a number of issues, including intestinal damage, tumours and, uh, premature death.
Suddenly, genetically engineered papayas don’t look so mild after all…
Now tap along to the end of today’s edition to see which delicious foods are banned from America!