Religious and cultural factors

Religious factors: Muslims fast during the period of Ramzan or Ramadan. Hindus follow various food changes during festivals. Also, Muslims will not eat meat such as beef or lamb that has not been slaughtered by the halal method, while those of the Jewish religion will only eat foods that are Kosher.

Cultural factors: Cultural influences lead to differences in the habitual consumption of certain foods and in preparation traditions, and in some cases may lead to restrictions of certain foods, such as vegetarianism. Cultural influences are however susceptible to change, for example, when moving to new country, where individuals often adopt eating habits specific to the local culture.

Around the world, people’s eating habits are influenced by various factors, including religious beliefs. Some beliefs have been followed for centuries and are well established as part of life. These include, for example, saying thanks and blessings, to demonstrate faith through following religious rites concerning diets and to develop discipline through fasting.

According to the report “Values and Identities of EU citizens”, published in 2021, on average, 53% of EU citizens are likely to identify with their religion or beliefs, 21% neither identify nor do not identify with their religion, and 24% do not identify with this aspect.