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Food and Religion. Food and Religion. In the Western world, Islam, Judaism and Christianity are the most common religions, whereas Hinduism and Buddhism are common in the East. .

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food and religion

Food and Religion

Dr. Dina Qahwaji

food and religion1
Food and Religion
  • In the Western world, Islam, Judaism and Christianity are the most common religions, whereas Hinduism and Buddhism are common in the East.

Dr. Dina Qahwaji


Western religion is originated from Middle east linked with worship of a single God and the belief that the God is all-powerful.

  • Eastern religion developed in India, they don’t teach that God is the lord and maker of the universe.

Dr. Dina Qahwaji


Religious dietary practices vary even among members of the same faith.

  • Most religions have areas of problematic guidelines.

for example; fish without scales are banned under Kosher food laws (sturgeon).

Orthodox Jews don’t eat it.

Conservative Jews can eat it.

Dr. Dina Qahwaji


Religions food practices are often adapted to personal needs.

for example; Catholics, encouraged to stop eating one kind of food during Easter, usually gave up meat but today may choose pastries or candy instead.

Dr. Dina Qahwaji

common religious food practices
Common Religious Food Practices

A: avoided by most religious

X: prohibited,

R: some restrictions regarding types of food, O: permitted, but may be avoided at some observances


Dr. Dina Qahwaji


The Jewish religion, estimated to be more than 4,000 years old.

  • The Torah describes the right way to prepare food, give to charity, and conduct one’s life in all ways.
  • Many Jews attend a temple, which is led by a rabbi, who is a teacher and leader.
  • Judaism can be Liberal or Orthodox, based on the degree of following the Jewish laws.

Dr. Dina Qahwaji

kosher the jewish dietary laws
Kosher, the Jewish Dietary Laws
  • The Jews food reflect the regions where their families originated.
  • Most Jews in the US are Ashkenazi their diet includes the foods of Germany and eastern Europe.
  • Sephardic Jews tend to eat foods similar to those of southern Europe and Middle Eastern countries.
  • Jews from India prefer curries and South Asian foods.

Dr. Dina Qahwaji


Orthodox and some Conservative Jews follow the dietary laws, Kosher, that were set down in the Torah.

  • Kosher refers to the laws related to food in the Jewish religion.
  • Kosher means that a food is permitted or ‘clean’, while anything ‘unclean’ (e.g. pork, shellfish) is prohibited.
  • Food forms an important part of religion in life for a practicing Jew.

Dr. Dina Qahwaji

the categories of using of animal foods
The categories of using of animal foods
  • Which animals are permitted for

food and which are not:

    • Mammal with cloven foot
    • Chews the cud
    • Clean animals (cattle, deer, goats, oxen & sheep)
    • Clean birds must have a crop, gizzard and extra talon (chicken, duck, geese & turkey)
    • Fish with fins and scales

Dr. Dina Qahwaji


Methods of slaughtering animals:

    • Permitted meat animals can be eaten if the animal’s life taken by special process (shehitah). The shohet must be a Jew trained and licensed to perform the killing, which is done by slitting the neck with a sharp knife, cutting the jugular vein and trachea at same time.

Dr. Dina Qahwaji


Examination of the slaughtered animal:

    • After the animal is slaughtered, it is examined by the shohet for any faults in the meat or the organs that would affect the animal taste, meaning unfit for consumption. Disease in any part of animal makes the whole animal unfit to eat.

Dr. Dina Qahwaji


Prohibited parts of a permitted animal:

    • Two parts of the animal body are prohibited. Blood from any animal is prohibited (an egg with small bloodspot).
    • Heleb (fat not mixed with flesh, forms a separate solid layer may be covered with skin or membrane, and can peeled off) is prohibited.

Dr. Dina Qahwaji


The preparation of the meat:

    • The meat is soaked (72h after slaughter) in tepid water for 30min
    • Drained on a slanted, perforated surface so the blood can drain
    • Covered with kosher salt for 1h
    • The salt is rinsed from the meat
    • The meat rinsed repeatedly to be sure all blood and salt are removed

Dr. Dina Qahwaji


The law of meat and milk:

    • Meat and dairy products not be eaten together, after eating meat a person must wait 6h before eating any diary products. only 1h is necessary if dairy products are consumed first.
    • Many Jews are lactose intolerant and don’t drink milk (cheese, sour cream and yogurt often included in the diet).

Dr. Dina Qahwaji


Separate sets of dishes and pot for preparing and eating meat and diary.

  • Separate lines and washing equipments are often employed.
  • Eggs, fruits, vegetables and grains are pareve, neither meat nor dairy, and can be eaten with both.
  • Olives are considered dairy foods, prohibited with meat, if they are prepared using lactic acid.

Dr. Dina Qahwaji


Products of prohibited animals:

    • The only exception to the rule of unclean animals are also unclean is honey.
    • Bees are not fit for consumption, honey is kosher because it does not contain any parts from the insect.

Dr. Dina Qahwaji


Examination for insects and worms:

    • For small insects hide on fruits, vegetables and grains must washed twice.
    • A processed food product is considered kosher only if trusted rabbi authority’s name or stamp appears on the package.

Dr. Dina Qahwaji


Fast days

    • From sunset to sunset, no food or water (Yom Kippur).
    • From sunrise to sunset (17 Tamuz, Ta’anit Ester).
  • Jewish feast days
    • Rosh Hashanah
    • Passover

Dr. Dina Qahwaji


Dr. Dina Qahwaji


Christianity is the one of the world's biggest religion.

  • The various faiths of Christianity include:
    • Roman Catholic
    • Eastern Orthodox
    • Protestant (Mormons and Seventh Day Adventists)

Dr. Dina Qahwaji


The regulations of food differ from one to the next, including some faiths that don’t have any limitations.

  • The ceremony of changing bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus Christ is believed to happen at unity.

Dr. Dina Qahwaji

roman catholic
Roman Catholic
  • They are the largest number of Christian faith in USA and Europe, and the head of the worldwide church is the pope.
  • Feast days
    • Christmas (birth of Jesus)
    • Easter
    • New year day
    • Palm Sunday (the Sunday before Easter)
    • 40 days after Easter

Dr. Dina Qahwaji


Fasting permits only one full meal per day at mid-day, and doesn’t prohibit taking some food in the morning or evening.

  • Roman Catholics fast for at least one hour before unity (required to avoid all food and drinks except water).

Dr. Dina Qahwaji


Fasting is sometimes considered to be ‘praying with the body’. It is believed to improve their spirit, by overcoming the sensations of the physical world and focusing on prayer and their spirit growth.

  • It may serve as a way to have the feeling of those people around the world who regularly face starvation or malnutrition.

Dr. Dina Qahwaji


Self-denial (of food) can help Christians to remember that having what you want is not always the path to happiness.

  • Feast-Easter and Christmas, holiday type of food and fate depend on family country of origin.

Dr. Dina Qahwaji


Most Protestants observe Easter and Christmas as feast days only.

  • Mormons avoid caffeinated and alcoholic drinks.
  • The majority of Seventh Day Adventists don’t eat meat or dairy products, and are likely to avoid many condiments including black & chili pepper and mustard. Those that do eat meat don’t eat pork.

Dr. Dina Qahwaji


Dr. Dina Qahwaji


Islam is one of the most popular religion in the world with over a thousand million followers.

  • Permitted food are called ‘halal’.
  • Prohibited foods are called ‘haram’.

Dr. Dina Qahwaji


Haram foods listed in the Qur’an include:

    • All swine, four-footed animals that catch their prey with their mouths, birds of prey that grab their prey with their talons, and products of these animals.
    • Pork and pork products e.g. pork gelatin.
    • Laws in slaughtering animals are required.
    • Blood and blood products.
    • Alcoholic drinks and toxic drugs.

Dr. Dina Qahwaji


Fast days

    • During Ramadan
    • Six days during Shawwal
    • 9th Zul Hijjah
    • 10th of Muhurram
  • Feast days
    • Eid al-Fitr
    • Eid al-Azha

Dr. Dina Qahwaji