“Marley’s spiritual beliefs led him to follow a vegetarian diet emphasizing “Ital” foods.
That’s not short for Italian, … Ital (rhymes with, and is derived from, “vital”) refers to a loose set of guidelines for a healthy lifestyle in accordance with Rastafari values. As with kosher and halal dietary laws, Ital food adheres to the Old Testament rejection of pork and shellfish. Many Rastas avoid meat entirely, and others make an exception for small fish. As Bryant Terry, author ofVegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy and Creative African-American Cuisine, explains in the headnote for his Roasted Root Vegetable Ital Stew, “‘Ital’ is employed throughout Rastafari jargon as a way to emphasize the oneness and unity of life. Ital food promotes a healthy mind, body, spirit, and environment. It is as fresh as possible, free from additives, preservatives, and other chemicals; and in most cases dairy free.”
“One thing that really defines species is their food sources and one thing that really defines human evolution was reducing the amount of time dedicated to foraging and actually eating…humans have always been trying to economize on the time and energy we spend on getting food cause it frees up for all the other stuff we do and creating culture and I don’t know that we should really chastise people for continuing that.”
“Right now the American food supply contains about half the fruit and vegetables it would take for Americans to meet the recommended daily allowances, we clearly haven’t made a priority in terms of our agriculture to foster a healthy diet . . I’m into the idea that we should subsidize demand because it creates a more sustainable long term fix.”
—Tracie McMillan on Let’s Eat In