Ital

Ital, is food often celebrated by those in the Rastafari movement. It is compulsory in the Nyabinghi mansion though not in the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Remi mansions. The word derives from the English word “vital”, with the initial “v” removed. This is done to many words in the Rastafari vocabulary to signify the unity of the speaker with all of nature. The expression of Ital eating varies widely from Rasta to Rasta, and there are few universal rules of Ital living.

The primary goal of adhering to an Ital diet is to increase Livity, or the life energy that Rastafari generally believe lives within all human beings, as conferred from the Almighty. A common tenet of Rastafari beliefs is the sharing of a central Livity among living things, and what is put into one’s body should enhance Livity rather than reduce it. Though there are different interpretations of ital regarding specific foods, the general principle is that food should be natural, or pure, and from the earth; Rastafari therefore often avoid food which is chemically modified or contains artificial additives (e.g., colour, flavourings, and preservatives). Some also avoid added salt in foods, especially salt with the artificial addition of iodine, while pure sea or kosher salt is eaten by some. In strict interpretations, foods that have been produced using chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizer are not considered ital.

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