black market


The Avocado Black Market Is So Bad in New Zealand that There Are Waitlists to Buy Trees

Earlier this year, the price of a single avocado in New Zealand peaked at NZ$7, or about $4.60 USD.
Lauren Rothman

China Bans Sale of Endangered Animals as Food

The Chinese government banned the production and sale of food made from state-protected wild animals last week, promising to update the list of what’s protected every five years as populations in the wild recover or take a dive.
Wyatt Marshall
street vendors

NYC Street Vendors Want to End the Black Market for Permits

In 1981, NYC permanently capped the available number of food cart permits at 3,000. While the permits originally cost $200, vendors are now renting them on the black market for up to $25,000 annually.
Matthew Sedacca

The Illegal Cheese Trade South of the Border Is a Delicious Hustle

The border crossing between Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego, California is one of the busiest in the world, and the San Diego transit system is home to some of the most delicious black market items: cheese.
Tony Ley

In Quebec, the Most Aggressive Cartel Is the Maple Syrup Federation

In attempts to regulate prices and monopolize the maple syrup supply, the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers has turned to security guards, surveillance, and seizures.
Munchies Staff

This Is What It’s Like to Make the World’s Most Sought-After Beer

If you haven't heard of Heady Topper—the Vermont-brewed IPA that has achieved near-mythic status—then you don't know cult beer. The brew is so popular, in fact, that visitors would secretly hand-bottle it in the brewpub's bathroom and sell it on the...
Rose Maura Lorre

These Porpoises May Go Extinct Because Fish Bladders Are Delicious

A rare fish called the totoaba—whose swim bladder can fetch up to $650,000 on the black market—is sitting dead-center in a global dust-up between Greenpeace, government regulators, and high-seas smugglers. Even worse, totoaba poachers are scooping up...
Jesse Hirsch
food safety

The Burgeoning Blue Bell Black Market Wants to Sell You Pre-Recall Ice Cream

Last month, a massive recall spurred by fears of listeria contamination left many people bereft of their favorite Blue Bell ice cream. But never fear: The online black market has plenty of pre-recall ice cream ready to sell.
Alex Swerdloff

Russia Is Playing Whack-a-Mole with the Online Black Market for Imported Food

Russian officials have blocked three websites and sued four more that have been offering imported hot commodities such as cheeses, seafood, and meat.
Hilary Pollack

Israeli Seder Plates Might Feature Smuggled Palestinian Food This Passover

Israel’s Agriculture Ministry has reported an increase in Israelis’ attempts to smuggle eggs, meat, and cheese in from Palestine in advance of Passover, which begins this Friday at sundown.
Lauren Rothman

Are Oakland's Black Market Summer Cooler Cocktails the New Phrosties?

Authorities in California have cited an Oakland resident for selling candy-topped, booze-filled mason jars called "Summer Coolers" out of her home without a liquor license.
Munchies Staff

A Black Market for Tainted Meat Is Flourishing in Ukraine

Things haven’t been going well for Ukraine lately. And to add insult (and possibly more injury) to injury, a recent investigation into the country’s black market for meat has revealed that tainted beef, pork, and chicken are being trafficked into the...
Lauren Rothman