For decades, the Rasta have been stereotyped as people with dreadlocks who just smoke all day. But in fact the Rastafarian, or Rastafari, movement is a religious one whose followers all have different looks and strive to live a natural and peaceful life. The movement started in Jamaica but now has followers all over the world.
Just like other religions, the Rastafarian also has food restrictions or guidelines. Of course they’re not as strict as other religions since most Rastafarians practice it outside of any congregation and it’s based upon your own conscience. But the basis of their dietary habits is trying to only eat raw and natural food, or ital. By eating only natural ital foods, the Rasta maintain a “clean” diet. The Rasta want to only exist on what Jah, or God, provides.
What "mek up" the Rastafarian diet? Most Rasta don’t follow a specific guideline, but there are some main points that they follow in trying to eat clean. Firstly, Rastafarians do not eat pork or shellfish, since those foods are not considered “clean” in many other religions as well. Although some Rastafarians stick to a strict vegetarian diet, some followers do eat fish, chicken, or beef, as long as those meats are also natural and organic. If they do eat fish however, they must make sure the fish measures less than 12-inches long. This is because they consider fish longer than 12 inches as a symbol of the Babylonians who feed off of others.
The Rastafarian believe people should live in harmony with Mother Earth. Some Rasta refuse to eat foods changed from their natural appearance, such as peeled or cut fruit, while others simply won't eat any processed food. Some also avoid coffee or other stimulants. Most also base their diet on foods that are indigenous to their region, or that are grown naturally in their area to avoid preservatives or canning and freezing.
Of course, since ‘sinsemilla’ occurs naturally in nature, some Rastafarians indulge in that as well. But I’m sure we all knew that already. So, although the Rasta may sometimes get a bad rap, just know that their natural lifestyle is one that keeps in tune with nature and with their own body. As the great Robert (Bob) Nesta Marley once said, “Rastafari is not a culture, it’s a reality!”