The Rastafarian diet stems from the Rastafarian religion, which originated in Jamaica. However, many Rastas say that it is not a religion, but rather it is a way of life. The foods that they consume must be as close to their natural state as possible and be within the Levitical Law of the Old Testament.
The Rastafarian diet promotes healthy eating so that you can experience optimum health. The foods which are approved on the Rastafarian diet are called “ital”, which comes from the word vital and means liveliness. Although the diet was not designed to promote weight loss, it nevertheless is a great diet to help you shed unwanted weight by avoiding certain foods.
Pork is never consumed on the Rastafarian diet as the pig is a scavenger. Therefore, all pork is considered to be unclean and destructive to the human body.
Sea foods, such as shellfish, are scavengers and therefore should be avoided. Fish, however, are not forbidden if they have scales and are less than 12 inches long.
Most Rastas do not eat any type of meat, as they believe that touching meat is the same as touching death. However, meat in general is not forbidden as long as it comes from a clean animal such as a cow, goat, sheep, duck or chicken. Unclean animals, however, are forbidden. These include rabbit, camel, horse and birds of prey.
Eggs are also avoided on the Rastafarian diet ,as they are not considered to be a natural food for human consumption.
Milk from a cow or any other animal is also considered to be unnatural to the human body, and therefore it is avoided.
Artificial Additives and Chemicals
Any foods which contain any type of artificial additives or chemicals are considered to be destructive to the body. This includes most processed foods as they all contain some type of preservative, artificial sweeteners or artificial colorants. Cigarettes and most prescription drugs should also be avoided as a result of this, as they contain chemicals.
This includes foods that you can yourself at home. The reason you should avoid these is because Rastas believe that anything that is pickled or fermented is like changing the body into a cemetery. In other words those foods are destructive.
Salt is not forbidden, but all Rastas, or those on the diet are highly encouraged to avoid all forms of processed salt. They believe that all the salt that the body needs to survive can be found in plants, as they all contain a small amount of sodium.
Caffeine is also not completely forbidden, but you are encouraged to avoid it, as it is a stimulant. High amounts of caffeine are found in coffee, black tea, sodas, and chocolate. Herbal tea is allowed, as it is natural and only contains small amounts of caffeine.
Alcohol is also considered to be destructive to the body, and therefore all forms are forbidden.
Some Rastas go as far as cooking with clay pots to avoid contamination from metal pots. They also refuse to eat with any utensil that is not made from natural material. They believe that the body is a temple that one should not pollute.