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Food and religion

Foodand religion

Foodand religion

Foodhas always been an integral part of cultural traditions and beliefsof peoples worldwide (Kittler, Sucher &amp Nelms, 2011). People havedifferent reasons as to why they eat or refrain from some types offoods. This essay will analyze some food selection theories broughtforth by anthropologists, the factors that affect food selectionworldwide and meaning of food in different societies.


Anthropologistssuch as Garrick Mallery and William Robertson Smith suggested thatfood selection was influenced by the availability of food (Kittler,Sucher &amp Nelms, 2011). As a result, people will likely considerthe most readily available food as their stable food. Additionally,there were some religious aspects of food. Hinduism, eating meat isdenounced because some verses in Vedic text forbid the eating of meatobtained from horses and cattle. Peter Singer, for instance, arguedthat meat eating culture is denounced in some societies because it isviolent in nature and therefore causing a lot of harm and pain to theanimals (Winzeler, 2012). Vegans and Buddhists conform to thistheory.

Foodsplay a very important role in the cultural traditions and beliefs ofpeoples worldwide. The Hindu`s, for instance, believe that Cattlehave religious significance and should not be eaten. In traditionalAfrican cultures, specific parts of animals such as the tongue arenot supposed to be consumed by young children and women. Lastly,Economic factors that influence food consumption include cost andaccessibility (Voon, Ngui, &amp Agrawal, 2011). Low income willincrease the tendency to consume unhealthy food. Religious beliefsportraying some animals as sacred also influence food choices. Peoplewith medical conditions that require special diets are required tostick to special diets. People are also likely to consume foods thatare readily available.


Peopledo not just consume food to satisfy hunger there are social,economic, medical and ecological reasons influencing diet. They areall part of rituals and are connected to diet. The consumption ofmeat, vegetables, and fish among other foods varies based on thereligion, economic and ecological factors among others.


Kittler,P. G., Sucher, K. P., &amp Nelms, M. (2011).&nbspFoodand culture.Cengage Learning.

Winzeler,R. L. (2012).&nbspAnthropologyand religion: What we know, think, and question.Rowman &amp Littlefield.

Voon,J. P., Ngui, K. S., &amp Agrawal, A. (2011). Determinants ofwillingness to purchase organic food: An exploratory study usingstructural equation modeling.&nbspInternationalFood and Agribusiness Management Review,&nbsp14(2),103-120.