Ital Food: Jamaican Organic Food

So you have adopted an organic food lifestyle and you are worried about finding it when you travel. Not to worry, if you are in my neck of the woods then you should simply ask for “ital food”.

 ‘Ital’ derived from the word vital is a terminology created by the Rastafarian propensity to begin words with the letter ‘I’ to signify their oneness with the natural world. For this reason, ital food is considered pure and naturally from the earth; without chemicals, additives or preservatives.

Ital food is also strictly cooked with no salt, oil or meat and is perfectly in line with all the kosher requirements of Judaism and vegetarianism. Nevertheless, ital food is just as tasty as traditional Jamaican food; seasoned to perfection with our local herbs, spices and other ingredients.

When it comes to ital food, an all-time favourite of mine is “sip”

This is a soup usually made with red kidney beans, peanuts and various ground provisions including yellow yam, sweet potato, carrot, turnip, cho-cho and fresh okra along with coconut milk for a rich delicious flavor. You can also add any of your other favourite vegetables and take away your less-favourite. This soup is flavored with pimento, scallion, thyme and of course, scotch bonnet pepper.


Rastafarians believe that consuming ital food is not simply about health benefits but also pertains to ‘livity’ – the concept that requires eating things that will enhance the body and the living energy of all human beings. Ital food is also supposed to increase physical stamina and vigor.

My other favourite ital foods, include ackee and tofu with plantain and breadfruit and I can’t forget the natural juices. 

They are not to be missed. These juices are usually a combination of local fruits; including carrot, mango, passion fruit, pineapple, soursop and beetroot.

For the adventurous, you may also want to try a good ‘Strong-Back’, blended punch.


Many men swear by the power of ‘Strong-Back’ or ‘Love Punch’ as the ultimate booster for their sex drive and sexual performance. I drink it because it’s healthy and tastes good.

It typically, consisting of peanut, irish moss, ginseng, banana and several other plants, herbs and spices, known for their various health properties.


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