Retro | 90s | 80s | 70s

10 Foods From Our Childhood We're Surprised Haven't Been Banned By Now

Growing up, we were exposed to a lot of foods we probably shouldn't have been. We didn't necessarily have any of this "all natural organic free range sung to sleep by angels" food that people eat now. We ate what was given to us and didn't worry about the consequences.

That being said, there were some pretty questionable foods from back then that are still eaten today, and we're not quite sure why. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying these foods should go away, I'm just saying I'm surprised they haven't.



As a general rule of thumbs, I try not to eat processed meats out of cans. That's why SPAM being around for 80 years is truly shocking. You'd think that some health group would be working effortlessly to get this "ham and pork product" off the shelves (and maybe they are).

2. ZERO Candy Bar


The only reason we're surprised this hasn't been banned is because we're barely sure it exists to begin with. Touted as a "unique combination of caramel, peanut and almond nougat covered with delicious white fudge," ZERO bars are like the yetis of vending machines: sure, you claim you saw one, but no one is going to believe you.

3. Pop Tarts


If anyone ever bans Pop Tarts, you can just kill me. But it is somewhat shocking that something so sugary, with the nutritional equivalence of cardboard, is considered a legitimate breakfast food. Not only are they still promoted, new flavors of Pop Tarts are seemingly released every month (or maybe my grocery store just carries new flavors every once in a while, who knows!). Although, I do appreciate the attempt at a "healthier" version with their Unfrosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon flavor.

4. Marshmallow Fluff


For 75 years, this has been a staple food item in a lot of pantries, but we can't believe it's still going strong. The first ingredient is corn syrup, which has been branded as public enemy #1, and the second ingredient is sugar. I've seen people start petitions to get Nutella taken off the shelves, and yet somehow Marshmallow Fluff flies under the radar, which is fine, because fluffernutter sandwiches at 2 a.m. when you're drunk are unbeatable.

5. Velveeta Cheese

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The Godliest of all processed cheeses is barely even a cheese. If you have to add "product" to the end of your name, then it's probably not legit. That being said, Velveeta is the only acceptable cheese for mac and cheese, and I'm surprised it hasn't been linked to about 30 different illnesses.

6. Cap'n Crunch


Any breakfast cereal would qualify for this, but Cap'n Crunch is the most intriguing of all the cereals. Does it have a specified flavor? Other than "sugar"? A lot cereals from the 80s and 90s ended up getting discontinued for health (and other) reasons, so we're surprised that Cap'n Crunch hasn't met the same fate.

7. Candy Corn


There's three reasons this should be banned:

  1. It's the worst.
  2. I'm fairly sure it's made of wax.
  3. It's the literal worst.

8. Kraft Mac & Cheese


The rules that applied for Velveeta also apply for Kraft mac and cheese. It's not really cheese, it's not even a solid state. But damn, it is delicious. Considering the regulations enforced on food companies regarding ingredients, I'm shocked that whatever is in that orange powder hasn't been banned by the FDA.

9. Circus Peanuts


Why can't we just eat real peanuts? I'm 97% sure these are just foam, anyway. Sure, there's the nostalgia factor. But I still don't know how 32,000 pounds of these candies are made DAILY. Who is eating them?? And why?? Are you okay?? Do I need to call someone??

10. SpaghettiOs


If nothing else, this is an attack against the entire country of Italy. The gelatinous sauce, the slippery noodles, and the red stain it left on your mom's favorite Tupperware, are all legitimate reasons that Spaghettios could have been banned. However, it's still a mainstay in a lot of homes (including mine).

What food from your childhood are you still surprised to see?