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Funny Food Laws

Updated on September 22, 2015

The minute you read something that you can't understand, you can almost be sure that it was drawn up by a lawyer. -Will Rogers

Laws, rules, and regulations are for the good of society. We certainly benefit from these little reminders; they keep our manners in check, assure order, and provide the framework for a civilized society.

But just for fun (and because I’m the Carb Diva) I scanned the internet for food-related laws that, strange and antiquated as they may sound, are STILL in effect in the United States. Here are the silliest of the silly.

As They Say "Timing is Everything"

Timing is crucial to so many things in life--proper timing can mean the difference between a good joke and a loud groan (or worse yet, a silent room), a well-cooked hamburger or a lump of charred beef, a raise in pay or a pink-slip.

And, obviously, timing is everything when obeying the laws of the land:

the 11th hour
the 11th hour

Alabama--It is illegal to sell peanuts in Lee County after sundown on Wednesday.

Arkansas--In Littlerock, it is illegal to honk one’s horn at a sandwich shop after 9 p.m.

Florida--It is illegal to eat cottage cheese on Sunday after 6p.m.

Kansas--One cannot sell cherry pie ala mode on Sunday.

Virginia--Chickens are prohibited from laying eggs before 8 a.m. and after 4 p.m.


Alcohol

In the late 1800s, religious groups across the United States began to speak out on the evils of alcohol and public drunkenness, labeling them a scourge on the population and a threat to our nation. In 1920 Congress ratified the 18th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which made it illegal to produce, transport, or sell alcohol. Rather than eliminate crime and corruption, prohibition led to the bootlegging of alcohol and a rise in organized crime. Thirteen years later Congress ratified the 21st Amendment, which effectively repealed Prohibition.

This is not to say that the consumption of alcohol is no longer considered a social problem--just look at these laws concerning the consumption and use of alcohol:

Missouri--It shall be unlawful to provide beer or other intoxicants to elephants. (Goodness knows how many times this might happen if this law were not on the books!)

Alaska--In Fairbanks it is considered an offense to feed alcoholic beverages to a moose.

Illinois--In the Pullman area, it is illegal to drink beer out of a bucket while sitting on the curb.

Nebraska--It is illegal for bar owners to sell beer unless they are simultaneously brewing a kettle of soup.

Texas--The entire Encyclopedia Britannica is banned in Texas because it contains a formula for making beer at home (does that include the online version as well?)

The People at Fish and Wildlife Are Just Doin' Their Jobs

Maryland--It is illegal to mistreat oysters. (No more raw oysters on the half shell?)

Tennessee--You can’t shoot any game other than whales from a moving automobile. Also, it is illegal to use a lasso to catch a fish. (Obviously someone at the Fish and Game Department has a sense of humor).

Utah--It is against the law to fish from horseback. (Is it OK if you don't use a lasso? Oops, that's Tennessee.)

West Virginia--Roadkill may be taken home for supper. (They told me it was spatchcocked chicken).



Mind Your Manners

The Emily Post Institute should be pleased that these laws are still in effect:

Oklahoma--Taking a bite out of another’s hamburger will not be tolerated.

Georgia--In Gainesville, Georgia, it is illegal to eat fried chicken with anything other than your fingers

New Jersey--You may not slurp your soup.



Do We Really Need a Law for This?

Alabama--You may not have an ice cream cone in your back pocket at any time.

California--It is against the law to open canned goods with a revolver.

Rhode Island--It is considered an offense to throw pickle juice on a trolley.

pickles
pickles

I Saved the Best for Last

Connecticut--In order for a pickle to officially be considered a pickle, it must bounce.

Oregon--You cannot eat a doughnut and walk backwards on a city street.

Pennsylvania--It is illegal to sleep on top of a refrigerator outdoors.

South Dakota--It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep in a cheese factory.

Wisconsin--State Law makes it illegal to serve apple pie in public restaurants without cheese.



And Finally, One Law that Makes Perfect Sense!

Massachusetts--Tomatoes may not be used in the production of clam chowder.

© 2015 Linda Lum

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    • Carb Diva profile image
      Author

      Linda Lum 20 months ago from Washington State, USA

      I agree Flourish. You have to wonder what the background story was.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      It just makes you wonder the story behind some of these laws. Just ... why? Funny hub.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 20 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Linda

      We had the same when the supermarkets got the ok to sell alcohol. They were allowed to sell wine on a Sunday but the beer had to stay 'sectioned off' and not sold on a Sunday! (Never did understand that one!).

      The law only changed about ten years ago.

    • Carb Diva profile image
      Author

      Linda Lum 20 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Lawrence - We used to have "blue laws"--the sale of alcoholic beverages was prohibited on Sunday. They couldn't even be displayed (the racks of beer in the refrigerated case had to be covered with a tarp).

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 20 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Linda

      I'll try to remember to make sure no chicks lay eggs if ever I move to Virginia (at least not at the wrong time!).

      Over here we used to have the '6 o'clock swill' as it was missionaries drew up the first laws in NZ and it was illegal for pubs to serve beer after 6pm!

    • Carb Diva profile image
      Author

      Linda Lum 21 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Ha ha Ann. It's just obvious which one of us has a real job, and which one is retired.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 21 months ago from SW England

      You're kind but the quality/quantity thing is not true. You have quality hubs and you're just more hard-working than I am!

      Ann

    • Carb Diva profile image
      Author

      Linda Lum 21 months ago from Washington State, USA

      annart - quality trumps quantity. As for the tipsy elephants and bouncing pickles, I'm glad you got a laugh. Thanks for your kind words.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 21 months ago from SW England

      Congrats on 200 hubs! I'm only half way there!

      Great hub! How different and how entertaining; I'm still smiling about the image of elephants drunk on beer and the obligatory bouncing pickles.

      Wonderful!

      Ann

    • Carb Diva profile image
      Author

      Linda Lum 21 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Rachel - You made me laugh! Thanks and have a great day.

    • Carb Diva profile image
      Author

      Linda Lum 21 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Venkat - I agree. How does one train a chicken? I would imagine that even our friend and urban farmer Bill has not been able to accomplish that!

    • Carb Diva profile image
      Author

      Linda Lum 21 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Chantelle - I think not putting tomatoes in clam chowder is in the 11th Commandment. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 21 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Carb Diva, They are really funny. It's a good thing we don't live in NJ because my family doesn't know how not to slurp their soup. Thanks for making me smile today.

      Blessings to you.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 21 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very much funny indeed!

      I enjoyed the one at Virginia under "Timing is Everything".

      "Chickens are prohibited from laying eggs before 8 a.m. and after 4 p.m."

    • Chantelle Porter profile image

      Chantelle Porter 21 months ago from Chicago

      I must say I do prefer my clam chowder without tomatoes. Makes perfect sense to me.

    • Carb Diva profile image
      Author

      Linda Lum 21 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Thank you Bill. You are very kind (I don't think anyone else has noticed). Have a great Wednesday.

    • Carb Diva profile image
      Author

      Linda Lum 21 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Rebecca - We'll never know will we? I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Carb Diva profile image
      Author

      Linda Lum 21 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Now Patricia, don't you be making any trouble in Georgia (like eating chicken the wrong way). Thanks for your comments.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      What? We don't have any in Washington? I'm disappointed. :) Congrats on your 200th Hub...nice milestone for a nice person.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 21 months ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Wow, how strange these are! It makes one wonder how in the world they came about. Thank you for your research and for sharing.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 21 months ago from sunny Florida

      Fun read...I am heading to Gainesville, GA, asap....

      Some of these are just so very silly :D On the day they were written the folks must have just not had enough to do....so they said...let's see how silly we can be.

      Angels are on the way to you ps

    • Carb Diva profile image
      Author

      Linda Lum 21 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Well, Jackie I think the truth is that the number of pages of written law would fill Yankee Stadium several times over.

      As long as the powers that be don't haul me to jail for eating fried chicken with a knife and fork, or take my lollipop away from me (yes, you got that right--I didn't include that one in the list, but they are "illegal" in Washington State), I won't complain.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 21 months ago from The Beautiful South

      That shows us how lazy our representatives are doesn't it? lol

      Fun read!

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