The Weirdest Food Laws In Every State

The United States is as vast as it is diverse. Each state has its distinct identity, from local tourist attractions and accents to culinary habits. And while Federal laws get observed across the country, all 50 states have specific regulations that they adhere to on a local level. These laws represent local sensibilities, diversity of opinions, and distinct lifestyles. Many of the mandates that get observed at the state level have been in existence for decades. Others are more recent. What does each of these state laws have in common? At some point, something occurred, requiring state legislatures to look at a situation and vote to enter these laws into existence.

As far as laws regulating various aspects of food consumption are concerned, these laws can get quite specific. Some of these food laws are so unusual that they appear nonsensical. Others seem like they would be addressed by common sense, leading us to wonder: Who on earth did what to make it necessary to mandate this legally? And many of them just had us roaring with laughter. Here are the weirdest food laws in every state in the U.S.


In Mobile, Alabama, discarding fruit skins, parings, or peels in public is illegal. Areas included are city sidewalks, buses, elevators, theaters, halls, walkways, and parks considered public property. From a safety perspective, this makes sense. Stepping on a banana peel could result in a nasty fall. The city likely had a dispute involving a slip-and-fall accident that necessitated them to institute this law. Our question is, what about vegetable skins, parings, and peels? Why are these not outlawed? Aren't these potentially equally as hazardous? And finally, from a cleanliness perspective, we can all agree that improperly disposing of any waste is just gross, so this one isn't as weird as it might sound.


One of the more bizarre food laws out there is this one from Fairbanks, Alaska. City officials outlawed giving alcohol to a moose. Some stories suggest this was a response to a bar owner who insisted on giving his pet moose a libation. The moose clearly could not hold his liquor and was a mean drunk. Whether or not that story is accurate, we are still slightly perplexed by the law. That said, a moose is a large, scary animal, even when it's sober. A drunk moose sounds like something we would never wish to encounter. We would like to propose an addendum — maybe feeding alcohol to any wildlife is a bad idea?


Here is a law that has us scratching our heads a bit. It is against the law to feed garbage to a pig. The only pigs who may get fed garbage are pigs raised for personal use. Even this requires a state permit. First, we are curious about what defines garbage in this law. Pigs are omnivores who are opportunistic feeders. They can thrive on scraps from fruits, vegetables, and even eggs. Are these scraps defined as garbage if they get discarded by humans? Or is this law more directly talking about the potentially hazardous waste that could make a pig sick? Inquiring minds want to know.


Little Rock has some specific rules about eating at fast food establishments. First, if you are at or near a drive-in restaurant, drive respectfully. Quick stopping or starting or loud sudden noises are illegal. In addition, blazing your horn at a sandwich shop after 9 pm is strictly prohibited. Some diners have poor driving etiquette when dining out and can't control their excitement over their Subway sandwiches. Or, they were too impatient after a night on the town to wait calmly for their Jimmy John's? Either way, mind your manners in Little Rock, or you will end up hungry and in trouble with the law.


The jurisdiction of Hermosa Beach, California, is protective of its sidewalks. They spent good money to install them and don't want anything to destroy them. As a result, spilling anything on the sidewalk that might cause damage is illegal. This ordinance includes greasy or toxic substances and specifically cites any salt, rock salt, common salt, or salt brine. If you are concerned about bad luck, refrain from throwing salt over your shoulder in Hermosa Beach. You will have to find another way to keep the bad spirits away. And you may want to order your margarita from the sidewalk Mexican restaurant without salt on the rim. Best not to take any chances.


In Boulder, Colorado, don't drink and ride. It is against the law to operate a non-motorized vehicle while under the influence. In this case, horses qualify as non-motorized vehicles. This law makes some sense. If anyone questions whether these weird laws get enforced, in 2013, a drunk rider did get arrested for riding into traffic while under the influence. As animal lovers, we think this one is as necessary for the horse as it is for the riders who could end up in an accident. The bottom line — drink responsibly. If you think you are too drunk to ride your horse home safely, you might want to call a cab and ask a friend to take care of your beloved equine until you can sober up.


Legend of Connecticut's pickle law has gotten perpetuated across the internet. To corroborate this law, librarians at the State Library of Connecticut pored through countless sources to find the origin of this story. The proof came from a 1948 article in the Hartford Courant, which recounted the arrest of pickle peddlers Sidney Sparer and Moses Dexler for selling pickles "unfit for human consumption," stated in the CT State Library. Connecticut Food and Drug Commissioner, Frederick Holcomb, had the men "drop it one foot, and it should bounce" to determine their safety. The pickles failed the test, and the men got fined $500. If pickles do not bounce in Connecticut, they are not real pickles.


We can't believe it's not butter — that's what the people of Delaware say when presented with margarine at a dining establishment. It is a fact that the sale and production of oleomargarine — yellow or white — are strictly forbidden, according to state law. The law further notes that serving margarine at a public eating place is illegal unless the proprietor hangs a sign that is within clear view of customers indicating that they use oleomargarine in their menu items. As butter lovers, we kind of love this law. We also think Julia Child would approve. After all, she famously used butter in almost all of her recipes.


There are several laws in Florida that we found perplexing. One of them involves one of our favorite foods, namely cottage cheese. Who doesn't love the luscious curds with a slightly tangy flavor that are chock full of protein? It's arguably one of the perfect foods if you feel peckish. Unfortunately, if you happen to be in Tampa, you may have to control your cravings for this delectable dairy product, especially on Sundays. Eating it after six pm on a Sunday is forbidden. We aren't sure why this law exists or how it might get enforced, but for the sake of argument, you may want to pick another treat on Sunday evenings.


The fine city of Gainesville, Georgia, is the self-proclaimed "Poultry Capital of the World," as stated by Gainesville, thanks to its healthy poultry production industry. It hosts an annual spring chicken festival and boasts a chicken monument in the downtown corridor. It is no wonder that this town takes fried chicken very seriously. So seriously that since 1961, it has been against the law to eat fried chicken with a fork. Fried chicken is finger-lickin' good and intended to be enjoyed that way. Though the law seldom gets enforced, a poor 91-year-old woman was arrested and charged with this crime in 2009 as part of a cruel practical joke.


Hawaii has a lot of laws, but most of them don't involve anything odd regarding food. Let's be honest; without its food culture, tourism in the state would suffer. However, believe it or not, until 2014, a law did exist restricting alcohol consumption to only one drink per person at a time. The law presumably was created to help curtail over-indulging, but some lawmakers thought it backfired. Rather than controlling drunkenness, it encouraged people to imbibe faster, getting drunk quicker, thereby necessitating just as much resources and attention, so they repealed it. If you want a mai-tai and a beer, go for it. Just drink responsibly.


The state of Idaho is known for its potatoes. The geography of Idaho is perfect for growing potatoes. It has long summer days and cool nights, light volcanic soil, and abundant snow melt to irrigate these magical roots. It should surprise no one that with this dedication to the potato, laws have gotten established to regulate the superiority of the Idaho potato crop. Idaho Deluxe potatoes must be a minimum of 2 inches in diameter or 4 ounces in weight, no larger than 6 ounces, and free of blemishes, including rot, sunburn, cracks, sprouting, or damage inflicted by mechanical equipment. There are a few exceptions to these rules, but let's face it, their reputation is at stake here. So maybe this law isn't all that weird after all.


Chicago may be known as the Windy City, but it is also the site of one of the great disasters in U.S. history — the Great Chicago Fire. From October 8, 1871, to October 10, 1871, a devastating fire leveled thousands of buildings, killed 300 souls, and cost the city about $200 million in damages. The fire claimed an area four miles long and a mile wide, forever leaving its mark on the town. This history may explain why eating inside a burning building is still against the law. We think this one should go without saying, but some folks wanted to finish their meal before the place burned down. As some point out, there is no law regarding getting your meal to go from a burning building, which makes us chuckle.


Meeting friends for drinks is a blast, but it can get expensive. That's why a good happy hour is popular with consumers and bar owners. We get half-priced drinks, and they sell more alcohol. It's a win-win. Well, not in Indiana. To control excessive drinking, state legislators erected a law in 1985 banning happy hours across the state. Per the law, alcohol prices must stay the same throughout the day. That said, no law exists to restrict a bar from offering an all-day special on a drink, which is how restaurant and bar owners are skirting the law and enticing customers into their establishments. Whether this curbs drunkenness in the state or not is a good question. Either way, clever business owners figured out a good loophole.


Who doesn't love to hear the jingle of an ice cream truck rolling down the street on a hot summer day? Sadly this is not an option for the kids residing in Indianola, Iowa, where ice cream trucks have gotten outlawed since 1967. Reasons given for the existence of this law vary, with one source stating it was to prevent food trucks from Des Moines from impeding upon the business of local ice cream parlors. Another sad story is that the law got enacted after a child got hit by a car while waiting for her ice cream at an ice cream truck. Either way, if you are searching for a sweet treat, your options are the local grocery store and pick up a pint of your preferred flavor or find yourself a Cold Stone Creamery to create your mash-up.


In another ice cream-related law, Topeka, Kansas, has outlawed serving cherry pie à la mode on Sundays. Well, more specifically, with vanilla ice cream. We have questions. First, can other pie flavors get served with vanilla ice cream, like blueberry or banana cream? Is it just vanilla ice cream that is banned? For example, can you have chocolate ice cream or pistachio ice cream on your cherry pie instead? Why do so many states have rules against dairy products on Sundays? The bottom line is that if you are visiting Topeka, Kansas, and you want your cherry pie with vanilla ice cream, it will need to be on a Saturday.


According to an outdated law, until you fall, you are regarded as sober, regardless of how much alcohol you have consumed. The specific law regarding public alcohol intoxication and rules prohibiting the consumption of alcohol in public places notes that a person must be under the influence where they might endanger themselves, others, or public property or are behaving in a way that is annoying to others. It sounds like the way alcohol affects you may matter here. If you are a fun-loving drunk who is polite and can stay on your own two feet, you don't have anything to worry about. If you are the type of drunk who picks fights with others and stumbles around, you should probably avoid drinking in public.


There may be more to make attendees sad at funerals in Louisiana than just the circumstances warranting a funeral. According to Louisiana law, you can legally only consume three sandwiches at a wake. Any more can get you in hot water. Though there doesn't appear to be any logical reason for this law, we surmise someone at some point came to a funeral without having eaten before the event and pounded down all the sandwiches, depriving other mourners of their fair share. Some folks make it impossible for the rest of us to have nice things, like egg salad sandwiches at a funeral. That's something to cry about.


Many weird food laws lists include a law on the books in South Berwick, Maine prohibiting vehicles from parking anywhere in front of the Dunkin Donuts on Main Street. The law specifically mentions that you cannot park on the street to a point 25 feet south. This law isn't as looney tunes as it may sound. The issue is that there are no parking spots streetside of this establishment. All parking is in the back. Some folks couldn't be bothered to wait for a parking spot or to drive around the building, abandoning their vehicles in front of the store, blocking traffic, and making things miserable for everyone else. This law helps keep the flow of traffic moving safely. If you want caffeine, follow the rules and park out back.


How many of us grew up with our parents telling us not to go swimming for 30 minutes after eating? The idea was that it could cause stomach cramps or poor digestion. Though there may be some truth to this suggestion, enacting a law banning eating altogether when swimming seems a bit much. Yet, this happened in Maryland, where it is against the law to eat while swimming in the ocean. We can think of a couple of good reasons for this. First, pollution is bad enough without everyone dropping snack packs into the water. Second, eating human food may be hazardous to sea creatures. But perhaps the biggest reason we can think of — leaving a trail of crumbs for hungry sharks to follow straight to you seems like a horrible idea. Save the grilling out for before or after body surfing.


Attending church is a solemn ritual that many engage in every Sunday. It is a time for reflection, prayer, and community. And while you may get hungry, this certainly isn't the opportune time to break out a bag of chips or popcorn. Bostonians agree. Though this law no longer gets enforced, it is still on the books, banning worshippers from consuming peanuts in church. The law, as it originally got conceived, punished this infraction with up to one year in jail. That's a rather hefty fine. Think about it, not only is munching and crunching loudly on peanuts disruptive, peanut shells are messy and can be hazardous if anyone steps on them and falls. Additionally, many people are allergic to peanuts, and you wouldn't want someone to go into anaphylactic shock during the sermon. So maybe this law isn't as weird as it sounds.


Beginning on April 14, 1913, being drunk on a train became illegal. According to the law, you cannot board or remain on a train if intoxicated. You also cannot drink on a train. Additionally, the conductor has the right to have you arrested if they deem you to be intoxicated and has the right to seize your alcohol. Any violation of this law will result in a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in prison and a fine of up to $100, although it seldom gets enforced. The law does have a caveat — you can purchase and drink alcohol from the snack car of the train. They aren't going to pass up on a revenue opportunity. That would be silly.


According to some sources, it is against the law to eat a hamburger in St. Cloud, Minnesota, on Sundays. Some suggest this may be an antiquated law relating to religious fasting rules, although we cannot find any that would substantiate this. That said, if you are a hamburger lover and want to get a Big Mac after church, you may want to stay clear of St. Cloud on a Sunday. Alternatively, you may choose to eat a veggie burger, McChicken, or a Filet-O-Fish sandwich. The law doesn't say anything about other types of sandwiches, so we think you'd be safe with those options.


This particular law hurts our hearts to even write about because we can't understand why it became necessary to codify it. That said, it is against the law to sell cat meat for food in Mississippi. Why anyone would want to eat fluffy is beyond us. That said, federal law decided to make this official across the U.S. in 2018. Believe it or not, when the law went into effect, selling the meat of dogs and cats was still legal in 44 states. This federal statute makes the slaughter, transport, possession, sale, or purchase of dog or cat meat a crime punishable by a fine of up to $5,000. Excuse us while we go cuddle with our fur babies.


In Perryville, Missouri, you can only own 20 chickens and one rooster per 20-acre property. This law got enacted to minimize noise complaints. Similar laws exist throughout the U.S., particularly in rural communities where many citizens enjoy raising chickens to supply them with fresh eggs. Beyond noise concerns, there are concerns related to avian-to-human disease transmission, odor and pollution management, and the proliferation of pests within city limits. This type of law isn't so weird. What is different is that many other regulations regarding poultry ownership across the U.S. had far more conservative rules, including outright bans on roosters. If you love the taste of farm-fresh eggs in the morning, Perryville may not be a poor place to land.


According to weird laws in the state of Montana, it is illegal to catch fish with a lasso. While this is true, it is also illegal to catch fish using anything other than a hook and single line or single rod, except for under certain narrow circumstances where a net can get used, and a longbow and arrow may get implemented at specific times with the appropriate licensing and permission. With this in mind, we would be highly impressed with the lassoing skills of anyone capable of catching a fish with a lasso. Maybe this skill should get added to the activities on display at the next county fair, along with tractor pulls, pig-calling contests, and sheep shearing.


We admit that there are few worse things in the world than being near someone who has just eaten raw onions. Don't get us wrong — onions are incredibly healthy and flavorful. We use them in almost every recipe we make. But, there are times and places where eating them is ill-advised, offensive even. According to lawmakers in the town of Waterloo, Nebraska, around 1910, barber shop customers were making a stink about, well, the barbers stinking. Specifically, their breath smelled, which made maintaining proper grooming problematic. This situation prompted the local government to institute a ban on the consumption of onions from 7 am to 7 pm. Locals rejoiced, knowing they no longer had to endure the perils of barber halitosis while getting their locks manicured.


They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, except if what happens is you feeding wild animals. This law was originally enacted in 2017 when it was initially forbidden to feed pigeons, which for anyone who has ever visited the famed Las Vegas Strip, is quite a nuisance. The fine for feeding pigeons was a hefty $1,000 or six months in jail. In 2020, the law expanded to include all wild animals, from rabbits to feral cats. The fine got lowered to $10 for these infractions. This law was instituted to curb the spread of diseases transmitted from animals to humans and presumably to discourage these animals from hanging around crowded tourist attractions. There are plenty of other attractions to enjoy in Vegas. Save feeding animals for the petting zoo or at home.

New Hampshire

In 1971, a law was enacted restricting pour holes in restaurant sugar dispensers to being ⅜ of an inch wide. The law intended to prevent wanton criminals from tampering with the dispensers by incorporating toxic chemicals intended to poison someone. We aren't sure a clever criminal couldn't figure out a way into the container despite the reduced hole size. This law may be a moot point in today's culture, where most sugar or sweetener comes in individually wrapped packets for sanitary and safety reasons. Frankly, communal dispensers like this make us a bit anxious for several reasons beyond the potential of being poisoned. But we might be germaphobes.

New Jersey

A lot of people find the sound of people eating loudly annoying. Loud chewing, swallowing, crunching, and slurping can cause emotional distress for those struggling with misophonia. It is also considered poor etiquette. What is perhaps somewhat shocking is that in New Jersey, slurping your soup is punishable by law. You read that correctly. We aren't sure how anyone would enforce this law, but we appreciate it. Slurping may be the best way to taste something as it helps to aerate the liquid, distributing it across your taste buds and enabling the aromas to hit your nasal passages. But for some of us, it is an excruciating experience. Don't worry — we won't turn you in. But perhaps the threat of getting caught will curtail your impulse to slurp.

New Mexico

While every state in the union has some version of an indecent exposure law, New Mexico has an additional law prohibiting indecent waitering. Indecent waitering means someone serving food or beverages to the public at an establishment with a liquor license cannot knowingly or intentionally expose themselves. This offense qualifies as a petty misdemeanor, punishable by no more than six months in prison and a $500 fine. In addition, the establishment where the violation occurred can have its license to serve alcohol rescinded. Besides the obvious trauma of seeing someone's private parts without consent, we have deep concerns regarding health code violations attributable to this offense.

New York

New York is one of several states that prohibit sticking an ice cream cone in your back pocket in public on a Sunday. This seems like a bizarre rule, but some suggest there is a link to what is known as Blue Laws. Blue Laws date back to 1755 and are laws designed to curtail certain behaviors on Sundays because they are incongruent with religious requirements. Some activities covered under these laws included work, travel, the sale of goods, and the consumption of alcohol. While most of these are no longer observed, some remnants still exist. From a strictly logistical perspective, why would anyone want ice cream on their pants? What a mess.

North Carolina

Kitchen grease gets recognized as a valuable commodity in North Carolina. So much so that strict laws are in place protecting its ownership. Stealing, contaminating, or co-opting someone else's kitchen grease is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor. The punishment for this crime is a fine of up to $1,000. Should the value of said grease be over $1,000, the punishment graduates to a Class H felony, which comes with a sentence of up to 39 months in prison. If your vehicle operates on biofuels, you must obtain fuel from a legal distributor. Keep your mitts off the restaurant fryer, even if the grease makes your car smell like french fries while it runs.

North Dakota

This particular North Dakota law makes us want to stage a peaceful protest. It is unlawful for a restaurant to serve beer and pretzels together. Excuse us? What better combination is there than a cold beer with a salty pretzel? This one makes zero sense and feels like a practical joke. Indeed, Oktoberfest wouldn't be the same without beer getting served with pretzels, a tradition dating back to Bavaria some 500 years ago. Brewing monks called the pretzel the holy trinity because of the three holes in the pretzel. They eventually placed pretzels along a string that they wore like a necklace.


The laws regarding selling bread in Ohio are complicated. All bread must have labels indicating weight in ounces and cannot get sold in units smaller than 12 ounces. A loaf of bread over 12 ounces must get sold in 2-ounce increments above the 12-ounce minimum. This law does not apply to rolls or anything considered fancy bread. Labels must include the weight, name, and address of the manufacturer of the bread, and this label should get displayed on the packaging. Each package of bread can only have one tag on display. We wonder what constitutes fancy bread. Is sourdough bread fancy? Rye? A baguette must be considered fancy. It's got a French name. What could be more fancy than that?


Hamburgers are serious business in Oklahoma, so much so that the state legislature has instituted a law forbidding the sharing of hamburgers, which means if you and your buddy want to split a burger at lunch, too bad. You can't. You must each order your burger. While the law suggests that the reason for its existence is as a measure of public safety, skeptics believe that restaurant owners pressured state legislators to mandate no sharing so that they could sell more burgers. Either may be true, though one doesn't have to bite into someone's burger to share it. They can cut the burger in half, and each can have their own, thereby avoiding any contact with the other person's saliva. Or is that too logical?


It is illegal to eat ice cream on Sundays in Oregon. We wonder how readily this law gets enforced. We can't imagine that anyone would have gotten arrested during the Pacific Northwest heatwave of 2021, where temperatures topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit for three days in a row, something unheard of in Oregon. It was so hot that 123 souls perished due to hyperthermia. Anyone who ate ice cream on June 27, which was a Sunday, would have been in their right mind to do so to help lower their body temperature. Sometimes laws are made to be broken. The Pacific Northwest heatwave was one of those times.


If you want to drink in Pennsylvania, you better get familiarized with the complicated laws surrounding the sale and purchase of alcohol in this state. In 1933, teetotaler Governor of the state, Gifford Pinchot, instituted the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and tasked it with making purchasing alcohol "as inconvenient and expensive as possible," according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Though the laws surrounding the purchase of beer and wine have since gotten less stringent, the purchase of hard liquor is still restricted to government-operated State Stores with limited hours of operation and select distilleries. Beer and wine are more readily available but are still subject to stringent laws regarding the amount you can purchase. Stocking up for a party in Pennsylvania may cost you more money for gas than alcohol.

Rhode Island

Somewhere, sometime, someone ruined eating pickles on a trolley for the rest of us in Rhode Island. Indeed, throwing pickle juice on someone while riding a trolley is against the law. We have been conceiving of how exactly this law came into existence. Could the pickle juice have gotten spilled by accident? In which case, this was a massive overreaction. Or was someone so angry at a fellow trolley rider for refusing to cede their seat to them that they retaliated by blinding them with the juice from the pickles they purchased at the local store? Also, why are other modes of public transportation not included in this law? Can't vinegary pickle juice wreak just as much havoc on a subway, train, or bus?

South Carolina

Should you happen to be attending a funeral at the Magnolia Street Cemetery in Spartanburg, South Carolina, we recommend leaving your watermelon home. At some point, some unruly watermelon eaters rudely spit their watermelon seeds all over someone's grave, causing watermelon plants to sprout, which is highly undesirable in a cemetery with neatly manicured grass. As a result, it is now against the law to eat watermelon at the said cemetery. Whether other snacks are allowed is unclear, but perhaps it is best to wait until after the funeral to satisfy your hunger and show some respect to the family of the deceased.

South Dakota

It is arguably frowned upon to fall asleep at the job in any industry, but in South Dakota, it is illegal to do so while working in a cheese factory. The process of making cheese is rather delicate. The proper introduction of rennet or acid to the milk, separating the curds from the whey, testing aging cheeses for mold, and lugging wheels of cheese around without injuring your back. All these require you to be alert and not get in the way of others doing their job safely. We don't know about you, but cheese is one food we take very seriously. If you are making our wheel of brie or forming our block of cheddar, you are welcome to cut the cheese but don't sleep on it.


According to the Tennessee Roadkill Law, collecting wild animals that have gotten killed on the road is legal to take home for personal consumption. Certain restrictions apply. Once you obtain the animal, it is necessary to notify TWRA or local law enforcement within 48 hours. Bears are a different story because they are an endangered species. You may not remove a bear until a TWRA Agent has come out to the location of the accident and gives you a receipt for the bear. This extra step helps them document the migratory patterns of bears, assess their population, and prevent the sale of bear parts on the black market. Protected species, including owls, hawks, and other birds of prey, are illegal to take home.


Limburger is a cheese you either love or hate due to its aggressive smell redolent of stinky feet. This semi-soft cow's milk cheese originated in an area known as the Duchy of Limburg, which spanned three modern-day countries — Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The cheese gets its aggressive odor from a smear-ripening bacterium applied during aging. Though its flavor is mild, its stench can send people running for the hills. Perhaps this is why the sale of Limburger got outlawed in Houston, Texas, on Sundays. On other days of the week, all bets are off. That said, if you can get past the smell of this delicacy, it can be delicious.


There are several laws regarding the sale and consumption of alcohol in Utah. One of the more interesting ones is the ability to obtain alcohol when the governor has declared a state of emergency. It is illegal to sell, offer for sale, or otherwise provide alcohol during a state of emergency. How many of us reach for a glass of wine following stressful situations to take the edge off? What could be more stressful than a state of emergency? How do the citizens of Utah cope? Guess they find healthier ways to find their zen. We want to know their coping strategies to incorporate them into our emergency kit.


Another state with stringent laws regarding the sale and consumption of alcohol is Vermont. It is strictly against the law for anyone under 21 to consume alcohol, even for medicinal or religious purposes. Doctors cannot prescribe medications that have alcohol in them. Priests and ministers are forbidden from serving communion wine to minors, as are parents during the annual Passover Seder. Some view this as a violation of the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing the right to religious freedom. Regardless of federal regulations, in this state, serving alcohol to a minor is a criminal offense under any circumstances. Grape juice at Passover and Communion it is.


Virginia takes its ham very seriously, with the town of Smithfield having the moniker the ham capital of the world, though residents of the Parma region of Italy and the Iberian Peninsula of Spain might beg to differ. That said, rules regarding the authenticity of a Smithfield ham are strictly regulated. Only ham produced using traditional methods in the town of Smithfield can get the label as an authentic Smithfield ham. Those who willingly sell fraudulent Smithfield hams face being found guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor, which comes with a maximum $250 fine. Illegal porcine peddling represents an indignity to the heritage of Virginians.


Fire hydrants and utility poles are integral parts of a city's infrastructure. They are necessary for public safety and should not get tampered with. For this reason, we found it perplexing that there is a law on the books forbidding vending machines from getting attached to fire hydrants and utility poles. The statute regarding utility poles notes that something can get attached up to 12 feet above ground level with previous approval from the utility company. Our brains are spinning. Why would anyone need their snacks dispensed from a vending machine attached to a fire hydrant or a utility pole? Also, how on earth would you reach a vending machine dangling from a utility pole 12 feet in the air?

West Virginia

Since 1951, West Virginia has assessed an excise tax on soft drinks, syrups for soft drinks, and dry mixes used to make soft drinks. The tax assessed was one cent for every 16 and 9/10 fluid ounces of liquid, or fraction thereof, per half-liter, or fraction thereof, in every bottle. These taxes were to pay for constructing a new hospital and health sciences center on the campus of West Virginia University. That project finished in 1957, but the university has continued to collect revenue of around $14 million annually. In 2022, this law got repealed and will no longer be in effect as of July 2024.


It would make sense that a state known for making the most cheese in the United States would have strict laws regarding the grading, packaging, and labeling of cheese produced within its border, and it does. The list of cheese regulations in Wisconsin is dizzyingly long and complex. Some highlights include defining what constitutes cheese and providing guidelines for what characteristics make a grade AA cheddar versus a grade B cheddar. Grade AA cheese should be highly pleasing, while Grade B should be fairly pleasing. We aren't entirely sure what these terms mean except that the cheese should be free from undesirable flavors or odors. Additional terms defined in great detail include descriptions of the ideal body and texture of cheese like gassy, mealy, pasty, pinny, slitty, sweet holes, waxy, and weak. It is worth perusing the entire law to grasp the intensity of cheese fanaticism in Wisconsin.


In Wyoming, it is illegal for women to stand within 5 feet of a bar while drinking. While there is no reason given to explain the need for this law, we can surmise a few that we will keep to ourselves. That said, we wonder what happens if the bar is so narrow that to stand more than 5 feet away, the woman has to stand outside where drinking is illegal. Also, does this apply to women purchasing a drink from a bar? And what about female bartenders who have to get close to a bar to serve drinks? It might be safer to imbibe at home, where you can stand wherever you want to.