Saturday, September 26, 2015


I came across a list of 10 weird laws concerning food and today I'd like to share them with you.  And weird doesn't even begin to describe the absurdity. Perhaps comical is a better word. :)

1)  Greene, New York:  It's against the law to eat peanuts and walk backwards down the street while a concert is playing.
Apparently it's okay when a concert is NOT playing. How about this? Is it okay to walk backwards down the street while a concert is playing if you're eating cashews rather than peanuts? With peanuts, perhaps people were dropping the shells on the sidewalk and making a mess, but what does that have to do with walking backwards during a concert? And are we talking only outdoor concerts or does that apply to walking in front of a concert hall where a performance is in progress? There had to be some reason for the lawmakers to actually spend time on this and vote to make it a law. I wonder what the reason could have been?

2)  Massachusetts:  At a wake, mourners may eat no more than three sandwiches.
This totally baffles me. Why would there be a law governing how much people are allowed to eat at a wake? And for that matter, why does it apparently apply only to sandwiches and not other food?

3)  Beech Grove, Indiana:  It is forbidden to eat watermelon in the park.
So, for everyone enjoying a summer picnic in the park, you're breaking the law if watermelon is part of your meal? Did rival picnic groups end up in a watermelon fight thus causing the ban? Did Gallagher show up with his watermelon smashing sledge hammer? Honeydew melon and cantaloupe are okay but not watermelon? Again, one can only wonder what happened to result in such a weird law.

4)  Riverside, California:  One may not carry a lunch down the street between 11 and 1 o'clock.
First, I'm assuming this means 11AM and 1PM as in the normal period thought of as lunch time. But the purpose of the law? Was there a time in Riverside's history when gangs of hungry people prowled the streets during those hours looking to steal a lunch from some unsuspecting pedestrian? Gangs that did not pose a threat at 10:45AM or at 1:15PM? Gangs that were only concerned with lunch and not dinner?

5)  Maryland:  It's against the law to eat while swimming in the ocean.
Another assumption—this relates only to people and not to anything that actually lives in the ocean, which makes it a gray area for Aquaman? Apparently it's okay to eat while swimming in a lake, pond, river, or swimming pool. Again another assumption—you have discovered some type of food that can stand up to all that water? And you don't mind ingesting whatever bacteria/germs are in that water as part of your snack? I can intellectually understand the concept of food in the ocean attracting some sort of unwanted predator, but wouldn't the person be a similar type of temptation?

6)  Marion, Ohio:  It's a violation to eat a donut while walking backwards.
Again the prohibition on eating something specific while walking backwards. What is it with the walking backwards stuff? So, people living in Greene, New York, who want to eat their peanuts while walking backwards need to travel to Marion, Ohio, and people in Marion, Ohio, who want to eat their donuts while walking backwards can do it in Greene, New York?

7)  Carmel, New York:  It's illegal to eat ice cream while standing on the sidewalk.
Hmmm…is it okay to eat the ice cream while walking backwards as long as you aren't standing still?

8)  Rosemead, California:  Eating ice cream in public with a fork is prohibited.
My first thought is…who eats ice cream with a fork.  But, moving beyond that. Apparently it's okay to eat ice cream while walking backwards as long as you aren't using a fork.

9)  California:  It is illegal to eat an orange in your bathtub.
Now they've gone too far! Bad enough to mess with what you're allowed to eat in public, but in the privacy of your own bathroom? How is it possible to even enforce this law? Knowing that eating the orange while in your bathtub is illegal, close the bathroom door and cover the window so no one can see that you're actually in the tub while eating your orange.

10)  Boston, Massachusetts:  It is illegal to eat peanuts in church.
Does this apply to anything happening in a church building such as a social gathering of some sort or only to a church service? It would seem to me that it would be inappropriate to be eating anything during a church service. Again the peanuts are being taken to task. I guess that means it's legal to eat them while walking backwards down the street while a concert is playing since it's Boston rather than Greene, New York.

Well…that's the list I found of 10 Weird Food Laws.  Seems to me they should all be taken off the books as frivolous and basically unenforceable laws.

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