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Ital Food

Ital Food

Fashionable cities in Switzerland, such as Zurich, Basel, Interlaken and Geneva host vegetarian restaurants of the finest quality.  In Jamaica vegetarian diet had humble beginnings; brought by indentured labourers from India during the 1800s, later adopted by the Rastafari movement and known today as Ital Food.   `Ital’ was coined by Rastafarians from the English word ‘vital.’ The first letter in Ital refers to the ‘I and I’ a unity with all things that brings vitality, energy and life force. Rastafarians refer to this universal energy as  livity , hence Ital is intended to increase livity, thereby imbuing the diet with a religious or spiritual significance.  

While there are no strict rules concerning the ital diet there are a few common principles and practices.   All food should come from the earth, natural and organic. Processed food with additives and meat are avoided, although some include fish in their dishes.  Condiments, such as salt must be pure without additives.  Ital Food is prepared with utensils and pots made of clay and wood. 

Over the years Ital Food have grown in popularity and widely regarded as a healthy alternative to processed foods.   So, whether eating at a rustic eatery or a five- star restaurant, you won’t have to look far to find a sumptuous Ital dish in Jamaica.

Sept 2017

January 2019