When it comes to the Bible and forbidden food, the mind instantly turns to the Garden of Eden, which was home to the forbidden fruit. God told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit, but they chose to eat the apple from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This led to Adam and Eve being exiled from the Garden of Eden and ended up putting the rest of us in a pretty tough spot for years to come.
That particular apple that seemingly doomed mankind isn’t the only food that has been forbidden in at least some form throughout the Bible, though. To this day, there are many that have a lot of dietary restrictions due to religious beliefs, with certain foods either completely barred from the Bible or coming with adjustments that have to be made. Here are five of those foods that you have to look out for according to the Bible.
The Bible seems to be all over the place when it comes to fat on both animals and humans. As people, we don’t want to be gluttonous, but having an abundance of body fat is seen as protection of the organs in the Bible and a gift from God. The same applies to animals (sans gluttony rules), and parts of the Bible explicitly say that humans should not eat any of the fat from livestock animals including cattle.
However, other verses in the Bible explicitly say that you should eat animal fat. “Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet,” Nehemiah 8:10 reads. It turns out that there’s a very particular type of fat that should not be eaten. This is the hard fat called peder which is found around certain organs including the liver and kidneys.
As humans, most of the animals that we eat have been slain either by ourselves or other humans. According to the Bible, if you see an animal that was killed by another animal, then you are not to eat it. This comes from the book of Exodus, which reads “You must be my holy people. Therefore, do not eat any animal that has been torn up and killed by wild animals.”
It’s not something that comes up often in the modern age, so you don’t really have to worry about it. You don’t really get the chance to get the scraps of a gazelle after a lion has picked it apart. If you do find yourself in that situation, though, Exodus continues by saying of the food that “You shall throw it to the dogs.”
It feels that humans would be without a paddle if we weren’t able to eat flightless birds like chickens and turkeys. When it comes to birds that are able to fly, though, most of them are off-limits according to the Bible. This pops up several times throughout the Bible, especially in Leviticus.
“These are the birds that you shall regard as vermin, and for this reason, they shall not be eaten,” it reads. “The griffon-vulture, the black vulture and the bearded vulture; the kite and every kind of falcon; every kind of crow, the desert owl, the short-eared owl, the long-eared owl, and every kind of hawk.” It then goes on to list a lot of other owls, and even the bat gets a mention.
In some parts of the world, it’s common to eat a rabbit, whereas in other parts it would be taboo. The Bible says that you shouldn’t be eating rabbits. In Leviticus 11, the rabbit is even mentioned just before the pig in prohibited foods.
“The rabbit, though it chews the cud, does not have a split hoof; it is unclean for you.” For many of us, this is a relief, as rabbits are cute pets that we don’t perceive as food.
Certain Sea Life
There are a lot of instances of people eating fish in the Bible, and a lot of it has to do with fish being hand-picked by God as a food that we should be eating on a near-daily basis. Leviticus 11 reads that “Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams, you may eat any that have fins and scales.” This means that even fish like the Great White Shark are fair game according to the good book.
That doesn’t mean that we should eat all sea creatures, though. Leviticus goes on to say that “But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales – whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water – you are to detest.” This means that we shouldn’t be eating shrimp or calamari.