(ABC4) – Food has always been a cultural marker for different peoples throughout the world. While the United States has an amalgamation of all types of foods from a wide array of cultures, some items are considered illegal in the United States.

Here’s a list of 8 foods that have been banned in the U.S.:

  1. Sassafras Oil: This oil is recognized as a carcinogen and is banned nationally. However, it can still be found naturally occurring in items like basil or cinnamon.
  2. Bushmeat: Bushmeat is a term that refers to African wildlife. Some bushmeat comes from endangered species, making it illegal to import into the U.S. and many other countries.
  3. Ortolan: A French delicacy, ortolan is a small songbird that prepared in a way that is considered inhumane by the U.S. Preparation of this bird involves force feeding and drowning it in Armagnac, to be consumed whole. Ortolan is facing extinction, making it now banned by the U.S. and the E.U.
  4. Redfish: Redfish was a hugely popular fish in the 80s, but since its overfishing, has since been deemed an endangered species and is illegal in all states except Mississippi.
  5. Black Pudding: A delicacy from the U.K., this dish contains sheep lungs, making it illegal to import to the U.S.
  6. Mirabelle Plums: Only grown in Lorraine, France, Mirabelle plums are a “protected origin” food, meaning that it is illegal to export out of France.
  7. Absinthe: “True” absinthe contains a toxic chemical derived from wormwood called thujone. Because of this, absinthe is only available without thujone in the U.S. and many countries in Europe.
  8. Beluga Caviar: Overfishing of beluga sturgeon have made the fish an endangered species. This caviar is now illegal to sell in the U.S.