Taboo Food
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Categories:  • Seasonal Food  Edible Flowers

Taboo food and drink are food and beverages which people abstain from consuming for religious, cultural or hygienic reasons. Many food taboos forbid the meat of a particular animal, including mammals, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, bony fish, and crustaceans. Some taboos are specific to a particular part or excretion of an animal, while other taboos forgo the consumption of plants, fungi, or insects.
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Food taboos can be defined as rules,
codified or otherwise, about which foods or combinations
of foods may not be eaten and how animals are to be
slaughtered. The origins of these prohibitions and
commandments are varied. In some cases, these taboos
are a result of health considerations or other practical
reasons. In others, they are a result of human symbolic
systems. Some foods may be prohibited during certain
festivals (e.g., Lent), at certain times of life (e.g.,
pregnancy), or to certain classes of people (e.g., priests),
although the food is in general permissible.

List Of Taboo Food:
Amphibians and reptiles  • Bats  • Bears  • Birds
Camels  • Cats  • Cattle  • Deer and ungulates
Crustaceans and other seafood  • Dogs  • Elephants
Fish  • Fungi  • Guinea pig and related rodents
Horses and other equines  • Insects  • Living animals
Offal  • Pigs/Pork  • Rabbit  • Rats and mice  • Snails
Vegetables  • Whales  • Primates  • Human meat
Animal fetus  • Taboo Drinks  • Salt  •
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Causes
Various religions forbid the consumption of certain types
of food. For example, Judaism prescribes a strict set of
rules, called Kashrut, regarding what may and may not be
eaten. Islam has similar laws, dividing foods into haraam
(forbidden) and halal (permitted). Jains often follow
religious directives to observe vegetarianism. Hinduism
has no specific proscriptions against eating meat, but
Hindus apply the concept of ahimsa (non-violence) to their
diet and consider vegetarianism as ideal, and largely
practise forms of vegetarianism.

Aside from formal rules, there are cultural taboos against
the consumption of some animals. One cause is the
classification of a food as famine food – the association of a food with famine, and hence association of the food with hardship. Within a given society, some meats will be considered taboo simply because they are outside the range of the generally accepted definition of a foodstuff, not necessarily because the meat is considered repulsive in flavor, aroma, texture or appearance. (Dog meat is eaten, in certain circumstances, in Korea, Vietnam, and China, although it is nowhere a common dish.) Similarly, horse meat is rarely eaten in the Anglosphere, although it is part of the national cuisine of countries as widespread as Kazakhstan, Japan, and France.

In some instances, a food taboo may only apply to certain parts of an animal.

Sometimes food taboos enter national or local law, as with the ban on cattle abattoirs in most of India, and horse slaughter in the United States. Even after reversion to Chinese rule, Hong Kong has not lifted its ban on supplying meat from dogs and cats, imposed in colonial times.

Environmentalism, ethical consumerism and other activist movements are giving rise to new taboos and eating guidelines. A fairly recent addition to cultural food taboos is the meat and eggs of endangered species or animals that are otherwise protected by law or international treaty. Examples of such protected species include some species of whales, sea turtles, and migratory birds.

Similarly, sustainable seafood advisory lists and certification consider certain seafoods to be taboo due to unsustainable fishing. Organic certification prohibits most synthetic chemical inputs during food production, or genetically modified organisms, irradiation, and the use of sewage sludge. The Fair Trade movement and certification discourage the consumption of food and other goods produced in exploitative working conditions. Other social movements generating taboos include Local Food and The 100-Mile Diet, both of which encourage abstinence from non-locally produced food, and veganism, in which adherents endeavour not to use or consume animal products of any kind.
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Genetically modified foods taboo
Attitudes concerning genetically modified food like genetically modified soya, maize or rapeseed (canola) vary from accepted to taboo in the U.S. and Canada, while many Europeans have a taboo on it as they are more concerned with eating natural food sources. In the UK, only 2% of Britons are said to be "happy to eat GM foods", and more than half of Britons are against genetically modified foods being available to the public, according to a 2003 study.

In Europe, regulations state that all food and animal feed containing more than 0.5 percent GM ingredients are required to have strict labelling and traceability, and many supermarkets proudly boast the fact that they don't sell GM foods.
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See Also
  • List of Taboo Food
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