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Food and Nutrition in Diverse Cultures and Communities. Allie Hanson Concordia College, Moorhead, MN. Food and Religion.

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food and nutrition in diverse cultures and communities

Food and Nutrition in Diverse Cultures and Communities

Allie Hanson

Concordia College, Moorhead, MN

food and religion
Food and Religion

Food, because it sustains life, is an important part of religious symbols, rites, and customs – those acts of daily life that are intended to bring about an orderly relationship with the spiritual or supernatural realm.

  • Kashrut, the Jewish Dietary Laws
    • Kosher or Kasher means “fit”
    • Glat Kosher – strictest dietary laws
    • Orthodox Jews vs. Reform Jews
    • Spiritual health, not physical health, is sole reason for dietary observance
  • Dietary Law Categories
    • Animals which are/are not permitted
    • Method of slaughtering animals
    • Examination of slaughtered animals
    • Forbidden parts of permitted animals
    • Preparation of the meat
    • Law of milk and meat
    • Products of forbidden animals
    • Examination for insects and worms
jewish religious holidays
Jewish Religious Holidays
  • The Sabbath
  • Rosh Hashanah
  • Yom Kipper, the Day of Atonement
  • Sukkot, Feast of Tabernacles
  • Hannukkah, the Festival of Lights
  • Purim
  • Shavout, Season of the Giving Torah
  • Passover
passover seder table
Passover Seder Table
  • Z’roah
  • Beitzah
  • Marrot
  • Haroset
  • Karpas
  • Special Decorative Cup
christianity roman catholicism11
Christianity – Roman Catholicism
  • Feast Days
    • Food Traditions depend on family
    • Feast Days Include:
      • Christmas
      • Easter
      • Annunciation (March 25)
      • Palm Sunday (Sunday before Easter)
      • Ascension (40 days after Easter)
      • Pentecost (50 days after Easter)
christianity roman catholicism12
Christianity – Roman Catholicism
  • Dietary Restrictions
    • Before 1966, abstinence from meat on Fridays
      • Also on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday
    • Abstinence vs. Fasting
      • In 1966, abolished most dietary laws – except during the time of lent
      • Avoid liquids and food 1 hour before communion
christianity eastern orthodox14
Christianity – Eastern Orthodox
  • Feast Days
    • Easter is most important holiday
    • 3rd Sunday before lent (Meat Fare Sunday)
    • Sunday before lent (Cheese Fare Sunday)
    • Lenten fast broken after midnight services on Easter Sunday
christianity eastern orthodox15
Christianity – Eastern Orthodox
  • Fast Days
    • Abstain from food and drink before Holy Communion
    • On fast days, no meat or animal products are consumed; fish is also avoided
      • Shellfish is allowed
    • Older or more devout Greek Orthodox followers do no use olive oil on fest days, but will eat olives.
christianity eastern orthodox16
Christianity – Eastern Orthodox
  • Fast Days include:
    • Every Wednesday and Friday except during fast free weeks:
      • Week following Christmas till Eve of Theophany (12 days after Christmas)
      • Bright Week, week following Easter
      • Trinity Week, week following Trinity Sunday
    • Eve of Theophany (Jan. 6 or 18)
    • Beheading of John the Baptist (Aug. 29 or Sept. 27)
    • The Elevation of the Holy Cross (Sept. 14 or 27)
christianity eastern orthodox17
Christianity – Eastern Orthodox
  • Fast Periods include:
    • Nativity Fast (Advent): Nov. 15 or 18 to Dec. 24 or Jan. 8
    • Great Lent and Holy Week: 7 weeks before Easter
    • Fast of the Apostles: May 23 or June 5 to June 16 or 29
    • Fast of the Dormition of The Holy Theotokos: Aug. 1 or 14 to Aug 25 or 28
protestantism mormon19
Protestantism – Mormon
  • Dietary Restrictions:
    • Basted on the idea that the body is a temple of God and should not be harmed by stimulants
    • No tobacco
    • No strong drinks (alcoholic beverages)
    • No hot drinks (tea and coffee)
    • Many do not consume products with caffeine
    • Advised to eat meat sparingly
protestantism mormon20
Protestantism – Mormon
  • Dietary Practices:
    • Base their diets on grains, especially wheat
    • Store a year’s supply of food and clothing for each person in the family
    • Many fast 1 day per month
      • Donate the money that would have been spent on food to the poor
protestantism seventh day adventist22
Protestantism – Seventh Day Adventist
  • Dietary Restrictions
    • Overeating is discouraged
    • No meat (some may eat red meat but avoid pork and shellfish)
    • No tea, coffee, or alcohol
    • No tobacco
    • No highly seasoned food
    • No condiments (e.g. mustard, pepper)
    • Eating between meals is discouraged (food must be properly digested)
protestantism seventh day adventist23
Protestantism – Seventh Day Adventist
  • Dietary Practices:
    • Sabbath is observed from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday and is wholly dedicated to the Lord.
      • Food must be prepared on Friday and dishes washed on Sunday
    • Adventists follow Apostle Paul’s teaching that the human body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
    • Most are lacto-ovo-vegetarians
protestantism seventh day adventist24
Protestantism – Seventh Day Adventist
  • Dietary Practices:
    • Mrs. White advocated:
      • Using nuts and beans instead of meat
      • Substituting vegetable oils for animal fat
      • Using whole grains in breads
    • Water is considered the best liquid (not consumed during a meal)
    • 5 or 6 hours should elapse between meals
islam muslim26
  • Islamic Dietary Laws
    • Halal, Permitted or Lawful Foods
    • Haram, Unlawful or Prohibited Foods
islam muslim27
  • Feast Days
    • Eid al-Fitr (Feast of Fast Breaking)
    • Eid al-Azha (Festival of Sacrifice)
    • Shab-l-Barat (Night in the Middle of Shahban)
    • Nqu-Roz (New Year’s Day)
    • Maulud n’Nabi
islam muslim28
  • Fast Days
    • Ramadan
    • Shawwal
    • Muharran
    • Zul Hijjah
    • Voluntarily on Mondays and Thursdays
    • No Fasting Excessively or on Fridays
islam muslim29
  • New American Perspective
  • Dietary Practices
    • Avoid foods (e.g. flesh, alcohol) that are believed to hamper the development of the body or mental abilities
      • Vegetarian
    • Encouraged to practice moderation in their food practices
    • The cow is considered sacred and is not to be killed or eaten
    • Pork is also avoided
  • Dietary Practices
    • Fish that have ugly forms (e.g. catfish) and the heads of many animals are forbidden
    • No fish or meat should be eaten until it has been sanctified by offering it to the gods
    • May abstain from drinking alcohol
    • Garlic, turnips, onions, mushrooms and red-colored foods (e.g. tomatoes) and red lentils may be avoided
  • Feast Days
    • 18 Major Festivals
    • May be the only days that the poor eat adequately
    • Feast Days include:
      • Holi
      • Dusshera
      • Divali
  • Fast Days
    • Vary according to each individual
    • Numerous fast days
      • 1st day of the new and full moon of each lunar month
      • 10th and 11th days of each month
  • Dietary Practices
    • Vary considerably depending on the religious group and country
    • Buddhist doctrine forbids the taking of life; therefore, many are lacto-ovo-vegetarians
      • Some eat fish, and others abstain only from beef
      • Others believe that if they were not personally responsible for killing the animal, it is permissible to eat its flesh
  • Feasts and Fasts
    • From July to October, Buddhist monks are directed to remain in retreat and meditate
      • The first and last of the retreat is a time for worshippers to bring gifts of food for a feast
    • Many fast twice a month and/or on the days of the new and full moon
    • Do not eat any solid food after noon
traditional health beliefs and practices
Traditional Health Beliefs and Practices
  • Includes elements of Indian supernatural rituals combined with European folk medicine introduced from Spain
  • Health is a gift from God, and illness is almost always due to outside forces
  • Health care sought from a hierarchy of healers
traditional health beliefs and practices40
Traditional Health Beliefs and Practices
  • Illness is believed to be due to:
    • Excessive emotion
    • Dislocation of organs
    • Magic
    • Imbalance in hot or cold
    • Is considered an Anglo disease, such as pneumonia and appendicitis
  • Treatment is based on the cause of the disease
  • Seek hospital care only when needed, and then families play a large role
  • Consult with the male head of household
traditional food habits
Very proud of culinary heritage

Aztec foods

Spanish Contributions




One dish meals

Meats prepared over high heat

Stuffed food items


Sweets popular


Traditional Food Habits