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The US Congress and the Department of Agriculture have collectively agreed that pepper spray, an inflammatory agent commonly used in riot control and personal self-defense, is now publicly recognized as a member of the vegetable food group. With this declaration, pepper spray now joins the ranks of carrots, arugula, chickpeas, and broccoli as an official FDA-approved vegetable.
Pepper spray’s popularity saw an unprecedented spike since the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations began in New York City’s Zuccotti Park in September. These mostly peaceful protests sparked a wider ‘Occupy’ movement that has had demonstrators globally consuming more pepper spray than ever before in part due to the help of riot control officers. For example, a video of passive students at UC Davis went viral yesterday, in which protestors are depicted absorbing mass quantities of pepper spray as a campus police officer casually showers them with the chemical compound as though he were Lysoling his bathroom after a trip to Krispy Kreme.
“We are super excited to have pepper spray join the vegetable family,” said UC Davis chief of police Gordon Toothrot. “Now, when we’re violently breaking up these peaceful protests with brutal, unnecessary force, we’re also providing people with a vital aspect of their daily nutrition.”