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© Food – a fact of life 2009 Religion and food choices Extension
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Learning objectives To understand that people choose different foods due to their religion. To recognise the variety of food consumed by people of different religious views. To know that, regardless of religious views, it is important to eat a balanced diet for good health.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Religion and food choices Around the world, people choose to eat or avoid certain foods depending on their religious belief. Some beliefs have been followed for centuries and are well established as part of life. A healthy and varied diet is important for good health.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Roles of food in religion These include: to communicate with God (e.g. saying thanks and blessing); to demonstrate faith through following religious rites concerning diets; to develop discipline through fasting.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Religions around the world Religions which require particular food rules include: Islam; Hinduism; Judaism; Sikhism; Buddhism (strict); Seventh-day Adventist Church; Rastafari Movement.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Islam Prohibited animal flesh: pork. The Koran outlines the foods which can be eaten (halal) and those forbidden (haram). Beef, lamb and chicken can only be eaten if the animal has been slaughtered by the halal method. This means that the animal must be killed by slitting its throat. The animal will then have all the blood drained from its body. Muslims will only eat meat slaughtered by Muslims, Christians or Jews.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Islam Haram are foods which are forbidden. Examples include pork, blood, alcohol and meat sacrificed to idols. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims need to refrain from eating, drinking and smoking from sunrise to sunset. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Hinduism Prohibited animal flesh: all, except lamb, chicken and fish. Strict Hindus are vegetarian. The cow is held in high regard and a symbol of abundance, therefore Hindus do not eat beef. Some Hindus may also avoid certain foods, such as domestic fowl, salted pork, milk, ghee, onions, garlic, eggs and coconut.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Hinduism It is particularly important to check food products like bread, biscuits, cheese and jam to ensure that the forbidden ingredients are not present. Some devout Hindus observe fasting on special occasions as a mark of respect to personal Gods or as part of their penance.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Judaism Prohibited animal flesh: pork and non-kosher beef, lamb and chicken. The Torah outlines which foods are allowed for Jews to eat. Permissible foods are called Kosher and forbidden foods are called Trefa. Kosher animals have a completely split hoof and chew cud, e.g. cows, goat and sheep. Horses and pigs are not Kosher animals. Kosher fish must have fins and scales, therefore shellfish and eels are excluded. All plant foods are Kosher, unless damaged by rot or insects.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Judaism Kosher meat is prepared by using a single knife to cut open the throat to kill the animal, with all the blood drained. The meat should be soaked in water and salted to remove the last traces of blood. Meat and dairy foods must not be prepared or eaten together. Jews should not prepare food on the Sabbath, which begins at sundown on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday. There are other periods of fasting in the Jewish calendar, e.g. Feast of Pesach (Passover).
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Sikhism Prohibited animal flesh: pork, beef, halal and kosher. Sikhs do not eat halal or kosher meat because they are not meant to take part in religious rituals apart from the Sikh Rehat Maryada (Code of Conduct). They should also refrain from food and drinks which may harm their body, e.g. alcohol. Some older Sikhs may fast during full moon or specific holidays, but most are discouraged from fasting and going on pilgrimages.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Buddhism (strict) Prohibited animal flesh: all. Buddhists believe they should not be responsible for the death of any other living organism. Therefore, most Buddhists follow a strict vegetarian, if not vegan diet. They also avoid the consumption of alcohol.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Seventh-Day Adventist Church Prohibited animal flesh: pork, beef and lamb. Many Adventists are ovo-lacto vegetarians, which means they do not consume animal flesh of any kind, but will consume dairy and egg products. Some Adventists avoid food and drinks which contain caffeine, therefore they do not consume tea and coffee. They also avoid alcohol.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Rastafari Movement Prohibited animal flesh: all. Most Rastafarians are vegetarians or vegans. Foods approved for Rastafarians are called Ital, which should be natural or pure, without the addition of artificial colours, flavourings or preservatives. Rastafarians avoid alcohol and some also avoid tea, coffee and other caffeinated drinks because these are considered to confuse the soul.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Foods avoids by different religions ReligionPorkBeefLambChickenFish Islam Halal only Hinduism Judaism Kosher only Sikhism Buddhism (strict) Seventh-day Adventist Church Rastafari Movement
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Review of the learning objectives To understand that people choose different foods due to their religion. To recognise the variety of food consumed by people of different religious views. To know that, regardless of religious views, it is important to eat a balanced diet for good health.
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