Tag Archives: code of federal regulations

Regulation of the Day 137: Brownie Recipes

The Pentagon’s official brownie recipe is 26 pages long. If you don’t care to read document MIL-C-44072C in its entirety, here are some highlights:

-The water used in this recipe must adhere to EPA drinking water regulations.

-The eggs must comply with USDA “Regulations Governing the Inspection of Eggs and Egg Products (7 CFR Part 59).”

-The brownies must also comply with rules and standards from HHS, The American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC), the American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC), and the National Academy of Sciences’ Food Chemicals Codex.

-The coating must be exactly right:

3.3.5 Brownie coating. The brownies shall be completely enrobed with a continuous uniform chocolate coating (see 3.2.14) in an amount which shall be not less than 29 percent by weight of the finished product.

-Like pecans on your brownies? Nuts, pecans, shelled. Shelled pecan pieces shall be of the small piece size classification, shall be of a light color, and shall be U.S. Grade No. 1 Pieces of the U.S. Standards for Grades of Shelled Pecans. A minimum of 90 percent, by weight, of the pieces shall pass through a 4/16-inch diameter round hole screen and not more than 2 percent, by weight, shall pass through a 2/16-inch diameter round hole screen. The shelled pecans shall be coated with an approved food grade antioxidant and shall be of the latest season’s crop.

And so on.

By contrast, delicious recipes from allrecipes.com and cooking.com are less than a page each.

UPDATE: Reason’s Katherine Mangu-Ward has more; her post was picked up by Fark, too. The comment thread is pretty entertaining.

Regulation of the Day 83: Citations

The Code of Federal Regulations contains a regulation on how to cite the Code of Federal Regulations. It reads as follows:

The Code of Federal Regulations may be cited by title and section, and the short form “CFR” may be used for “Code of Federal Regulations.” For example, “1 CFR 10.2” refers to title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 10, section 2.

See for yourself at 1 CFR 8.9.

Standard citation formats are extremely useful. That would be why, even without regulation’s guiding hand, the private sector evolved the Chicago and MLA styles, among others.

Yet another example of spontaneous order at its finest.

Regulation of the Day 75: Food Containers

The Code of Federal Regulations has 28 sections on food containers. Metal, glass, plastic, flexible, rigid – if you can put food in it, there are rules for it.

Recent innovations, such as easy-open tabs on cans, have prompted the Department of Agriculture to issue a 13-page update to its food container inspection regulations. If you have some spare time on your hands, you can have a look by clicking here.

Regulation of the Day 65: Weighing Animals


If you sell poultry or livestock, it’s a good idea to weigh them first. Makes it easier for buyer and seller to agree on a fair price.

For some reason, seven sections of the Code of Federal Regulations (see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here) deal with the use and maintenance of the scales used to weigh the animals, the people operating them, proper procedure, and finally, weighing the animals again.

Is this really a federal matter? If so, what isn’t?

Regulation of the Day 53: Y2K

The case for regulatory sunset provisions is inadvertently made by an entire chapter in the Code of Federal Regulations devoted to lawsuit rules for the Y2K computer bug from nearly a decade ago.