Not exactly. Gastronomers, gastronomic nationalists and ethical foodies have been abuzz since PETA and actress Kate Winslet launched their latest anti-foie gras, fatty duck and goose liver campaign on April 15, sparking new debates over bans. In many countries the production of foie gras is banned and it's not the only food seen as a delicacy in one area and outright illegal to import and/or consume in another.
These 16 foods have been banned in certain places for health and/or ethical reasons, although some are on and off the blacklist depending on various standards of endangerment:
Trans fats: New York City
Raw milk: Scotland, United States
Absinthe: only forbidden if a toxic ingredient is below 10 ppm
Uncertified Chilean sea bass (toothfish): 24 nations
Horse meat: parts of the United States, possible ban in Italy and France
Wild Beluga caviar: Russia and the United States
Shark fins: European Union, United States
"Blowfish" (Fugu), toxic and lethal delicacy in Japan and Korea: most nations including Japan
Casu Marzu Maggot Cheese: European Union and United States
Sassafras, spice that can cause cancer: Cambodia, United States
Redfish, endangered: United States
Ortolan, small endangered songbird: France
Sei whale sushi: United States
High-fructose corn syrup: under fire in both San Francisco, New York City
Salt: could find a similar fate as trans fats in New York City
Food chemical stabilizers and powders used in molecular gastronomy: Italy
According to Treehugger, a green living blog, the following foods and food practices are banned in Europe but still allowed in the United States: genetically modified foods, bovine growth hormone, chlorinated chickens and certain artificial food dyes (soon to be banned).
However, killing a monkey at the table and scooping out its brains is a delicacy in parts of Asia, and there are many other bites around the world that many think are wrong or not good for health, including: bear's paw, live baby mice, scorpions and smoked reindeer. Whether you are a gastronomer or gastronomic nationalist, most likely what will be on your next plate does not begin with your stomach but the laws of the land.