You hear all the time about how junk food and fast food will kill you. We all know, though, that caving in to a stray donut now and again isn't going to harm us. Just don't eat them every morning for breakfast for twenty years, or you'll probably reap the consequences.
There are foods and drinks out there, however, that can kill you (or cause you to become seriously ill) shortly after consuming them. These foods and beverages are generally banned in the United States, though the rules for consuming them may vary depending on the country in which you live.
Fugu (a.k.a. Japanese Blowfish)
The Japanese Blowfish, or "fugu", is incredibly poisonous. You can die from eating fugu that is not properly cooked. It is still considered a delicacy in Japan, though, so folks who voluntarily order it must like to live on the wild side. Fugu is actually served in a handful of places in America, too, but it is generally banned in the country and those who do serve it, sell it, or harvest it must have a license to do so. Else, the practice is illegal. If you live in Europe, don't even bother trying to hunt down a place that serves fugu because it is completely banned from the country.
Sure, it may sound harmless, but unpasteurized milk (a.k.a. "raw milk") has been previously blamed for a spread of the potentially deadly E. coli bacteria. It is, however, regularly consumed in several other countries. At the present moment, twenty-one U.S. states in particular have outright banned raw milk, while other states only have a partial ban in place. This means that while some states allow raw milk to be sold in stores, others only permit sales of small quantities of the milk, which is to be bought directly from the farms that produce it.
The easy-to-abuse-to-toxic-levels absinthe was banned in the 20th century, but specific classes were brought back to the U.S. in 1997. These classes are only to be sold under strict regulations, one of which is that it contains less than 100 parts per million of the thujone compound, which is what makes the drink so toxic. The drink was also originally banned because the herbs that compose it are thought to produce a hallucinogenic state in those who drink it. Not only that, but the hallucinogen is also believed to be addictive, which could cause the user to drink too much, which can result in death.
Here's where the blurred lines begin to creep in, and no, not the Robin Thicke song. While it is legal to consume horse meat in the United States, it is illegal to slaughter horses for the purpose of human consumption, save for one slaughterhouse that has been reportedly reopened in the state of New Mexico. Horse meat is regularly eaten by those in other countries, however, such as Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Until recently, the U.S. was a regular provider of the horse meat that was produced for human consumption. However, in 2010, Congress extended the Wild-Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which protected horses from being slaughtered for human consumption.
Foie Gras has only recently (2006 in Chicago, Illinois) been banned from being served in restaurants. This is due to the discovery that geese were being inhumanely force-fed to prepare them for eventually becoming the source of the dish. Two years later, Chicago repealed their ban, however California had their ban upheld in 2012. Now, animal rights groups are working to have foie gras banned throughout the remainder of the country. So, if you enjoy foie gras, you'd better eat it while you can because it probably won't be on the menu for very much longer, and that includes other countries, in addition to the U.S.