The purpose of this paper is to investigate if religious food laws can provide answers to current issues with the food systems.
This paper provides a discussion of the dietary and food system principles from a Judaism, Christianity and Islamic perspective for the design of a more sustainable and healthy food system.
The commercialisation of the natural resources, industrial food production approach and consumerism is endangering the food security, health and environment. Current industry practices are not sustainable and do not comply with Jewish, Christian and Islamic scriptures. Kosher, Christian and halal food laws share common principles in prohibition of certain animals (like pig), prohibition of blood, role of fasting and animal welfare. As a change in the diet is the solution, there is a key role for the food industry to comply and for religious leaders to radically reduce meat consumption and food waste of its followers.
This viewpoint paper shows that religious food laws provide answers to current problems with the industrialised food production approach and consumerism.
New food industry directives should convert meat-based to plant-based ingredients and additives; replace porcine by bovine sources; and emphasise on animal welfare to better serve the Jewish, Christian and Muslim consumer. Religious logos (kosher and halal) should incorporate nutrient profiling through a traffic light system to promote healthy food choice.
Religious food laws are important for a big part of the world population (Jews, Christians and Muslims), which share many common principles. This study contributes to a better understanding of the commonalities and differences in these religious food laws.
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