These Are the Strangest Food Laws You’ll Find in Every State
From serving beer to elephants to eating peanuts in church, we’ve rounded up the weirdest, wackiest food laws from across the country.
For a while, it was illegal to have more than one alcoholic drink in front of you at a time. Today, however, Hawaiians have the right to double-fist their adult beverages just like the rest of us. Legislators decided to repeal the law in 2014 after they realized their well-intended ordinance to slow alcohol consumption actually caused people to chug drinks as fast as they could in order to receive a second.
People like to say it’s illegal to fish from a camel’s back in Idaho, which is technically true, but the actual law prohibits fishing from the back of any animal. This law was originally meant to dissuade horseback riders, but the alternatives (like camels) are fun to imagine, too.
In Chicago, it is illegal to eat in a place that is on fire, so if you’re dining in the Windy City and your table is on fire, make sure you call both the fire department and the police.
There’s nothing more satisfying than a summertime slice of watermelon, but it’s actually illegal to eat them in the parks of Beech Grove, Indiana. Parks staff came up with the ordinance after realizing that watermelon rinds often punched through garbage bags and caused messes. As it turns out, you shouldn’t be throwing out watermelon rinds anyway.
In Derby, Kansas, it’s illegal to hit a vending machine. Because we live in the era of AI and now our machines might just have feelings. (That’s just our guess.)
Remember that weird ice-cream-cone-in-a-back-pocket law listed for Alabama above? It’s a law in Kentucky and Georgia, too. Here’s the best ice cream shop in every state. Keep it out of your pocket and in your mouth instead.
Maine is serious about their clam chowder—so serious that a law prohibiting the use of tomatoes in clam chowder was at one point given serious consideration. Real New Englanders will appreciate our contest-winning take on this delicious soup. So, what do you think of when someone says clam chowder? We can probably guess what part of America you’re from based on your answer.
Speaking of seafood, you’d better be careful what you do with those extra shells. While the state of Maryland encourages the recycling of oyster shells, there are a few things you can’t do with them. For one, you can’t feed them to chickens—and you’re also not allowed to use them as road construction materials. Luckily, that’s one of the last things on our minds when it comes to making and eating oysters Rockefeller.