- The Plate
For Rastas, Eating Pure Food From the Earth is a Sacred Duty
Before modern-day health food, Rastafarians were making breadfruit spiced with Scotch bonnet peppers and coconut milk, not chemicals.
Though dreadlocks and reggae music are the familiar symbols of the Rastafari religion, the lesser-known style of eating its followers adhere to is more telling of the belief system. To stay healthy and spiritually connected to the earth, Rastas eat a natural diet free from additives, chemicals, and most meat.
The style of primarily vegan eating is known as ital cooking. Rastas commonly say, “Ital is vital,” pointing to how the diet got its name.
The Rastafari religion and political movement was born in Jamaica in the 1930s and promoted an African-centric way of looking at the Bible. It has since fanned out across the Caribbean and beyond to over a million followers, the most famous of which was the