Religion is a sensitive topic. Although the United States is so diverse and generally proudly embraces differences, it is inevitable for some to judge others based on their looks and their beliefs. In highly populated areas, you are bound to run encounter people of different religions. These different religious groups follow different principles and have their own lifestyles, in which food is included. For instance, are all Buddhists vegetarian? What does it mean for Jews to eat kosher? Do Hindus eat beef or any other meat? Of course, there are individuals who are more or less dedicated followers of their religious groups, but here are some religion food guidelines.


salad, Healthy, Thai, homemade, Vegan, coconutbowl, kale, cabbage
Nicole Burnett

Buddhists prefer a vegetarian lifestyle. Food consumption is always in moderation, and for stricter Buddhists, fasting is required. Five spices: onions, garlic, scallions, chives and leeks are prohibited from dishes, as they are stated to attract evil spirits, which is also believed by Hindus.


milk, sweet
Katherine Baker

Other than the five spices mentioned above, Hindus try to avoid meat and seafood, but are very particular about abstaining from beef. The cow is a sacred animal, but its products, like dairy, is considered pure and desired. In fact, milk is supposed to increase productivity and remove evil thoughts. As for drinking, some Hindus avoid alcohol.


Kathleen Lee

Islamic individuals may consume foods that are Halal and avoid drinking alcohol. But what is Halal? "Halal" is a term that making its way into grocery stores and restaurant menus all over the US. This is used to alert Muslims that the animal products for purchase are "lawfully" permitted, according to the Qur'an. Halal foods include most meats, with a notable exception of pork because pigs are considered to be a dirty animal that is susceptible to transmitting disease. Furthermore, animals consumed must be slaughtered in the name of Allah and by another Muslim's hand with clean, sharp knives. After the animal is killed, all blood must be drained before consumption and purchase.


bread, brioche, bun, pretzel, dough, yeast, wheat, sweet, pastry
Lauren Ross

Jewish people follow the Torah. Within the stories of the Torah, are declarations on how life should be lived, like what can/cannot be eaten. Most popularly, Jews are known for eating "kosher". Similarly to the Islamic religion, in order to be considered kosher, there are guidelines that food producers must follow. Most basic animals, like cow, chicken, and fish, are eaten. Interestingly, pig is also considered a filthy animal and is avoided, along with any seafood that does not have fins or scales. For all land animals to be eaten, they must be slaughtered in a kosher way, with a single deep slice across the neck and with little pain to the animal. Also, meat and dairy cannot be consumed in the same meal.

cake, strawberry, cheesecake, chocolate
Mira Nguyen

Every religion is different, and even those that are not mentioned each have their own idiosyncrasies when it comes to religion food. America is a huge melting pot, full of different ethnicities and cultures. What you believe may not be in agreement with others, but no matter what you choose to live by, acknowledge and respect that people are different and try getting to know them. You never know, what they eat, based on religion or not, may become your next favorite food.