Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ital Livity

I'm taking a break from the Eating to Survive series to focus on another very interesting topic.
I have always been very interested in the Rastafarian lifestyle and by extension their diet so I did some real research on this topic to share with my readers. Here is what I found:
What exactly is Ital food?

Ital food,derived from the word "vital food." means food that is natural, pure and clean. For a Rastafarian it represents their lifestyle which refers to no salt, no chemicals, no flesh, no blood, no whites (called whiteblood), no alcohol, no cigarettes and no drugs.

Rastafarians avoid salt, oil and meat. Their dietary laws are similar to the laws followed by Jews in Leviticus 11. Fish must be less than a foot long. No shell fish or fish without scales. Pork is especially condemned amongst Rastafarian. It is so important to not put the wrong thing in your body that some Rastafarians never cook in aluminum pots as it is said to leave traces of metal in the food that can get in your body.

The generic information I recieved was not enough for me and so I  sought the company  the most dedicated

Rastafarian I know, my older cousin and surrogate big brother Mr Vaughan Robinson. This is what he had 

to say:

I just want to know about how your organize your meals, what kind of foods you eat?
"Basically, I try to eat plants in its most live state as possible when the enzymes are alive (not exposed to a lot of heat) as to the kind of foods - all fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains especially when they are in season: at that time they are more potent than when preserved or used as bi-products; canned/bottled.
As for spice coconut is a vital ingredient in 98% of meals. Milk for use in porridge/cereal, soups, saute and stir fry. The Cold-Pressed OIL is like no other for its flavor, nutritional value and aroma.  
This diet is most beneficial by ANY standard. With such vast range to choose from everyday I create and combine (without clash) different foods ; basically because, once I have certain key ingredients (coconut oil, fresh herbs & spices excluding powdered seasonings), I can work wonders".

How affordable is  this diet? : 
"The expenses would vary depending on where you live and where you have to shop, of course you don't have to buy every ingredient from the whole foods store, though the sad thing is : they are the only ones that sell certain rare herbs/plants locally- cheaper to buy them online.
To view this diet as more expensive is looking at it from the angle of what is more convenient angle- which is basically an illusion.
If the food is live, it is more dense/nutritional so you need less to get the same volume of nutrients that you would get from eating 2/3 more inorganic dead food which sit longer in the stomach so we get bloated thinking "once we fatter we healthier".
Apart from general food preparation, the things we use to season the food: most powders have an anti-caking agent in them, this is cancerous, MSG also.
This type of diet (Ital) really takes little or no preparation. It takes far less gas, electricity, use of  your utensils and vital seasonings as well as visits to the doctor.
Living in Jamaica puts one at an advantage as many foods can be planted almost anywhere all year round. Coconut Industry Board has the OIL reasonably priced....IT IS LIKE " SAVING $5 TODAY WHICH WILL COST YOU $500 TOMORROW / spending 500 to save 50."

I found all of this information extremely enlightening, and I certainly would LOVE to learn the meal preparation techniques of this group.I promise to share with you my experiences . 

What do you think about the Rastafarian Ital diet? Would you try it?
Special thanks to: Mr Vaughn Robinson