It might be an inane question but due to some recent viral developments, readers and foreigners are wondering, “are forks illegal in Canada?”
Something so random and trivial might surprise many. The idea of the pronged piece of cutlery being outlawed by Canada recently came into public view through a Tiktok video. Wedding photographer Taylor Jackson (@taylorjacksonphoto) posted a “fun fact” video on his account claiming that they are in fact, illegal. The video is by far his most popular, at 10.5 million plays.
The video is an obvious joke but its clever editing and historical background led some to actually ponder the question “are forks illegal in Canada?” Jackson opened his cutlery drawer, showing an empty sleeve where the forks are held, and even claimed that Amazon does not sell or ship forks to his location. Fellow Canadians and others privy to the joke chimed in as well. The troll turned into something people believe and an inside joke for Canadians to partake in.
If you’re here to simply debunk a myth, then your answer will be right below. However, this story deserves a deep dive. Readers can inform themselves but also stay for the innocent joke’s interesting history.
Other than Jackson’s video, we can’t help but wonder what goes into the public stigma of forks. Why do some still wonder “Are forks illegal in Canada?” and what makes it a phenomenon that still persists today?
Why are Forks Illegal in Canada?
So, the title is a little bit misleading. When wondering whether or not “are forks illegal in Canada?”, we have to dig deeper than the innocent troll.
In a sense, the answer to “are forks illegal in Canada?” is no. Despite being a successful photographer with a buzzing social media presence, Jackson hid a harmless joke within his content. It took off, far eclipsing his other videos in terms of engagement and views. He even tried to replicate its success with a “Canada is now sponsored by KFC” Tiktok video.
It wasn’t as calculated and not nearly as believable, thus the video wasn’t as successful. The “are forks illegal in Canada” seems more innocuous and therefore believable. Another piece of evidence that played a factor in fork legality was 2020’s new policy by Canadian Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. Wilkinson announced that Canada’s government was taking gradual steps to achieve zero waste by 2030. The first step was banning the use of several single-use plastics by the end of 2021, including forks.
Other plastics that are recyclable, like plastic cups and lids, are not on the banned list. Businesses will be transitioning to recyclable alternatives in place of single-plastic items and have been slowly transitioning in the time between the public announcement and the ban’s active date.
“When a ban comes into effect, your local stores will be providing you with alternatives to these plastic products,” Wilkinson said in an interview with CTV News. He also stated that he understands that there will be an adjustment period when it comes to grocery runs and restaurant takeout (especially during the height of the pandemic), but the use of single-use plastics “has to change.”
The pandemic delayed this ambitious policy but finally came into effect in late June of this past year. The road going forward is even more limiting but gives businesses and companies the time to change up their product packaging. Although there are some exceptions (such as allowing them to remain available for Canadian residents who require them for medical or accessibility reasons), the Canadian government’s official website details the future guidelines as follows:
- Sales of single-use flexible plastic straws will be restricted as of December 2023.
- Prohibitions on the manufacture and import of ring carriers and flexible straws packaged with beverage containers (e.g., juice boxes) will come into force in June 2023 and the prohibition on the sale of these items will come into force in June 2024.
So the real answer to “are forks illegal in Canada” can also be yes. In a vacuum, the question needs a bit more clarity and specification to get the full answer. Plastic forks are illegal, as well as plastic grocery bags, straws, stir sticks, six-pack rings, other plastic cutlery, and food containers. Otherwise, forks of different materials are free to reign over the likes of poutine and Saskatoon berry pie.
Are Forks Really Illegal in Canada?
Now that we got the legal jargon out of the way, let’s address the elephant in the original “are forks illegal in Canada” discussion. Throughout the Tiktok, the wedding photographer displays several of those doctored photos that serve as evidence. The most interesting one may be an idea of his original inception or just a throwaway gag. The last intriguing image shows a Wikipedia article about the Great Canadian Fork Fight of 1812.
This fictional fork fight is a clever allusion to The War of 1812, an American-declared war against Great Britain. To put it simply, the United States Congress was angry about a number of things: a British blockade of French maritime trade due to the Napoleonic Wars, the British capturing American seamen to enroll in the British Royal Navy, and the British support of Native American tribes.
On top of this, the United States was planning on invading the colonies that would eventually become Canada, which was under British rule and wouldn’t be an independent country until half a century later. After war was declared, many American factions invaded the areas of Lower and Upper Canada and its peoples.
Though the two North American bodies crossed paths repeatedly throughout this war, no forks were weaponized to our knowledge. Even if it was so, it doesn’t seem likely we’d only be hearing about this until now. If the Great Canadian Fork Fight of 1812 was legit, we’d be hearing about it in the history books, there’d be an annual LARP event recreating the horrors of the battle, and there’d be several Canadian fork museums to commemorate those who lost their lives. In this hypothetical scenario, are forks illegal in Canada? Absolutely yes.
Are Eating Forks Illegal in Canada?
“Are forks illegal in Canada” can be a tricky question, but eating said forks can be even trickier. In terms of execution, the standard (and children-sized) fork should not be able to fit in any one mouth. However, with all this talk of sustainability and eco-friendly alternatives, nothing is really out of the realm of possibility.
Take the plastic fork, which answers our old question of “are forks illegal in Canada”, and consider what Canada’s zero-waste initiative is doing: eliminating single-plastic use. Everyone uses plastic forks but we can think of something else that may get the job done. Edible forks.
This was an idea developed by Narayana Peesapaty, an Indian groundwater researcher. He was also frustrated by the number of plastic waste–India or otherwise. He made a prototype of edible cutlery made of rice, millet, and wheat flour. Even though Bakeys, Peesapaty’s startup, did not last, its legacy is carried on by different suppliers.
Edibles by Jack, IncredibleEats, and TwentyFiftyFork have all established themselves in the niche market of edible cutlery. The three US-based companies composed three unique formulas for their brand, to varying results. Their textures and ingredients are different, can be used with hot or cold items, and some even come in different flavors.
Although it is unfortunate that Peesapaty didn’t end up being successful in the business world, he should be applauded for his initial idea. We hope that he carries on, doing good for the sake of the planet, and finds another successful eco-friendly venture that works for him. As for now, we can find some great sustainable options from the edible cutlery companies that are thriving today. Though they are competitors, readers and eaters alike should be glad that there are plenty of green companies trying their hand at more environmentally friendly products.
Even if we did believe Jackson and his original “are forks illegal in Canada” Tiktok, contraband would be rather easy to conceal. For instance, imagine some Mounties coming up to you because they suspect you of eating pasta with a fork. In the coming moments, you can safely ingest your fork to avoid any wrongdoing.
Are Fork Illegal in Canada?
To wrap the strangely in-depth joke, there might be a lot of fingers pointing to the question “are forks illegal in Canada?” There’s the fictional historical context and nonfictional historical context that make this goof strange enough to be believable. Along with some meticulous video editing and others quickly playing along, you’ve got people second-guessing themselves enough to read this article.
If you searched “are forks illegal in Canada” in your browser, you aren’t alone. You may be a tad gullible but skeptical research beats blindly believing facts on the internet. By searching “are forks illegal in Canada”, you came across this fantastic article and possibly learned something new while laughing at yourself.