Odd and outdated laws are nothing new in the United States and around the world. But when it comes to legal restrictions on food, even the most jaded of lawyers would find these weird American food laws eye-opening. After all, you can learn a lot about a place from what they try to legislate. Drinking laws can shine a light on how a region views personal responsibility, but food laws can be flat-out funky.
You've probably never heard of the strangest food laws from around the United States - but once you do, you're sure to remember them. Weird state laws regulate pickles (in Connecticut, they have to bounce), pizza (don't send one to a friend in Louisiana), and even milk (it's strictly regulated in Utah).
From rules about fish to limits on sandwich consumption, this list of funny state rules about food cover them all. Be careful: you may be breaking the law and not even know it.
Don't Take A Bite Of Your Friend's Burger In Oklahoma
It sounds like residents of Oklahoma are extremely protective of their food - or at least of their burgers. It's illegal to take a bite out of someone else's hamburger throughout the state. But in Oklahoma City, things get even weirder: it's also illegal to eat a hamburger while walking backwards downtown.
Lassoing Fish Is Outlawed In Tennessee
Fishing laws around the country prohibit the use of explosives, firearms, and other implements, but in Tennessee, it's also illegal to catch a fish with a lasso. But at least you're not in Idaho, where you can't fish while riding a camel. And you can still lasso fish in Texas.
In Connecticut, A Pickle Is Only A Pickle If It Bounces
It's not as easy to make a pickle in Connecticut as you may think. Unless a pickled cucumber bounces, you can't call it an actual pickle. If a pickle is deemed unfit and sold anyway, the seller is fined.
The pickle law goes beyond just cucumbers, however. As recently as 2010, farmers fought to pass a bill changing the 4.6 pH balance required to sell homemade pickles, salsas, and tomato sauce.
Avoid Oranges In The Bathtub In California
According to numerous sources, it's illegal to eat an orange while in a bathtub in California. The origin of this possibly mythical law is unknown. Rumors say that the law was developed around 1920 to prevent any dangerous reactions between fruit acid and bath salts and oils.