Forbidden Food

A lot of things are banned in a lot of places, but food bans on the grounds of cruelty isn’t something you see very often. In this article, we are going to be talking about food, deemed so brutal, that it has been banned in different countries of the world.





1. Foie Gras

Banned in over a dozen countries, this once-upon-a-time traditional French delicacy literally means “fat liver”. Foie Gras is the liver of a duck/goose that has been subjected to gavage. Gavage is the process of the force-feeding the animal by shoving a tube down its throat, in a completely inhumane way. The duck/goose is force-fed to line its liver with more fat than what is customary as part of the animal’s usual diet. As a result, the liver of the animal gets enlarged, sometimes up to 10 times its usual size. The higher the fat content in the liver of the duck, the more juicy, succulent and buttery is the meat. The tube that is used for gavage often ends up causing irreversible damage to the food pipe of the animal, thereby leading to its untimely death. Gavage in itself raises the mortality rate of the animal as well. The animal raised for Foie Gras is usually slaughtered after 100-120 days after its rearing.

Now, non-medical force feeding of animals is banned in several countries including but not limited to the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, Italy and some states of the United States, including New York.


2. Shark Fin

A popular Chinese delicacy, especially when cooked as a soup, shark fin, has been banned in several countries. This ban stems from the exponential decrease in the number of sharks due to shark finning. Shark finning is a process by which the fins of the sharks are cut out. The sharks are mostly alive after this process, but without their fins, their swimming gets hampered by a great extent, as a result of which they die.

Now shark fin is banned in over 10 states in the United States, in Malaysia, Canada. China too has declared a ban on shark fin soup being served in official banquets.


3. Balut

A popular Filipino street-food, the Balut is another dish that is being eyed fervently for a ban, in many countries of the world. Balut in Filipino stands for fertilized egg that has the fetus inside it, which is boiled and eaten. While the egg could be of any bird’s, the popular one is of the duck’s. This ban of this dish has found prevalence in Islamic countries like the UAE, as consumption of meat if the animal has not been slaughtered the Halal way is considered blasphemous, according to the Quran. Singapore too, has issued a ban on the import of Balut eggs. Embryos are boiled to death and those that are over 50 percent developed might feel pain, which makes Balut extremely cruel.


4. Ortolans

An ortolan is a bird that looks similar to a finch are of significance in the French cuisine. This dish picked up popularity quickly and soon the procurers got into a hunting spree to keep up with the demand. The result was a rapid contraction in the population, which caused the French government, in the late 90s, to restrict the hunting of ortolans and put a ban on cooking and selling ortolan as food. Now, ortolan based food is banned in several places like the US and the EU.


5. Kutti Pi – Though not banned yet, this food has had several campaigns demanding that the government ban it. Kutti Pi is a dish popular in the Anglo-Indian community that involves cooking the flesh of the fetus of a goat, sheep or cow. This has resulted in several petitions calling for a ban on slaughtering pregnant animals.


Yes, it does come of some relief that some food produced as a result of sheer brutality has been pushed to a stop. Is there any thing else that we might have missed out on? Let us know in the comments below!





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