Saving the Rastas until last! Welcome to the final Meatless Monday post in the Jamaica series.
Ganja, dreadlocks and Bob Marley
Such are the popular images conjured up when the word Rasta is uttered. Often considered a religion, Rastafari is really a way of life. It originated in Jamaica in the 1930s as part of the Black Pride and Return to Africa movement. Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican activist and orator amongst other occupational titles, stated in 1927,
“Look to Africa, for there a king shall be crowned.“
Enter Haile Selassie, emperor of Ethiopia from 1930-1974. Before his coronation in 1930, his name was Ras Tafari Makonnnen and from there the name for this movement was derived. Want more Rasta history? Click here for a start; there are many more sources out there.
So what about the food? Those who follow a plant-based diet will be happy to know that Rasta fare is vegetarian and vegan friendly!
Ital and Vital
Ital is one of the doctrines of the Rasta way of life. The word ital is said to derive from the word vital. The Rasta diet is largely plant-based and focuses on natural whole foods.
No Meat, No Problem, mon
Ital food or Rasta fare does not contain additives, preservatives, meat, salt, alcohol or caffeine. Local herbs (including ganja) and food are used and prepared in a way (often just raw) to maintain the integrity of the ingredients. However, some Rastas may eat fish.
And the Main Ingredients Are:
coconut milk, scotch bonnet peppers, thyme, pimento (aka allspice), garlic, scallions, root veg, tomatoes, carrots etc.
For more Rasta fare, see: