Food and Environment

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

If you read newspapers or watch TV, the chances are that you feel depressed. The news is depressing. And because almost everywhere the situation is similar, it looks as if you cannot walk away or do anything to solve the problem. But what if I told you that that is far from the truth and that you can literally change the world with every bite? That the situation we face today is solely because of you and me?

I was depressed about the rapes and murders, the lack of respect to women, separation of families, distrust and hatred till I connected it with the treatment of animals in our food chain. If we rape, molest, murder and abuse animals, we create an energy of fear and depression in the universe. It is then inevitable that our actions come back to bite us.

I was depressed about climate change, water shortage, degradation of soil and pollution, until I realised that the biggest cause of this is again the rearing of animals for food.

And most of all as a doctor, I am shocked at the increase in lifestyle diseases that physicians pronounce as ‘incurable’  – diabetes, cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, PCOD, auto-immune diseases.

I take solace in the fact that each of us can choose to save the environment, stop the exploitation of animals, get healthy again and live our values by choosing carefully what we put on our plates. Have you made the right choice?


How not to go extinct?

If you are living on planet Earth, then set aside just nine minutes to hear Dr Sailesh Rao of Climate Healers speak on how veganism might seem a radical concept right now, but is just the beginning of a transformation. And how veganism has the power to reverse climate change. 

'Chicken' masala


  • 200 gm jackfruit (kathal) chopped into 1 inch pieces.
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • ½ tbsp kasoori methi
  • salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup cashew nuts, soaked for four hours


Drain the water from the cashews. Wash them well. pulse in a grinder with a little bit of water to form a thick smooth paste. Keep half the paste aside. Add salt and pepper to the other half, mix jackfruit pieces and cover. Leave aside for one hour to marinate.

Take 3 tomatoes, 1 onion and blend them. Take 1/5 cups of water in a wok/kadhai. When it heats up, add the tomato- onion paste to it, bring it to boil and lower the flame. Keep cooking, ensuring it does not burn. This will take about 20 – 25 minutes. You will know it is done when the paste is thick, the bottom of the kadhai is shiny and the paste is not at all sticking to it.

Steam the remaining tomato for 3 minutes and blend it. Add it to the cooked tomato onion gravy. Add the remaining cashew cream along with salt and pepper. Add water if required to make a thick gravy (same consistency as a tomato ketchup).

Roast the marinated jackfruit in the oven at 200 degrees C for approx 15 minutes, till the edges are slightly more browned than the rest. Add the jackfruit to the gravy and let it cook for 5-10 minutes. Add kasoori methi after 10 minutes and let all the flavors merge.

Serve with naan or kulcha.

Serves 1 – 2

Food for the mind


If you love Facebook, then join us to be supported on your plant based journey. Since 1 January, 2016, we have been offering three possibilities

1. SHARAN India This is SHARAN's main Facebook page which you can like and follow for getting useful daily updates and news from the plant based health world. You will also get news about the latest SHARAN events, see testimonials, and more.

2. SHARAN's Vegan Support Group This is an open support group to know more about vegan/plant-based lifestyle. Here you can ask questions and share inspiring stories, tips, recipes, etc.

3. SHARAN's Plant Powered Health This is the new group only for the past attendees of SHARAN's events: seminars, cooking classes, retreats or longer programs.

All our doctors and presenters will be here to answer your questions and give you tips. If you have attended our events join this group to be a part of our family.

Please like the main SHARAN page and join the group(s) applicable to you.


Food & Environment Connection

Is there one? Absolutely! The first obvious connection is that our food comes from the environment. So whatever happens to the environment affects the food supply and in turn impacts us.  Right now, we all know that something not so great is happening to the environment – climate change. With seasons losing their schedules and bringing in untimely rains, snow and even melting glaciers and searing summers, agriculture is the victim. This could lead to food supply shortages, soaring prices and even more unimaginable consequences.  

So is Nature to be blamed for all this? Is climate change simply happening ad-hoc? Find out the real causes of climate change:

1. Animal Agriculture

Are you aware that the number of farmed land animals that we rear for our consumption per year is 10 times higher than the number of people living on this planet? So where do we make them live and how do we grow food for them – deforestation! Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation.

2. Carbon Dioxide

We rear animals that breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide and we cut trees that are supposed to breathe in the carbon dioxide and release oxygen. In fact the Amazon rainforest, which are the lungs of Mother Earth, is depleting by the hour. 

3.  Methane

This gas is produced in the guts of livestock. Did you know that a sheep can produce about 30 litres of methane each day and a dairy cow up to 200 litres? And we are the ones growing their population so that we can eat them? In fact the negative effect on the climate of methane is 23 times higher than the effect of carbon dioxide.

4.  Nitrous Oxide

Livestock is responsible for 65% emissions of this oxide in the environment. This greenhouse gas has 296 times more of warming potential than carbon dioxide and stays in the atmosphere for 150 years!

5.  Water

The amount of water one saves by not eating meat is equivalent to not showering for six months. Not to mention how tons of animal poop pollute our water bodies every single hour and the amount of water required to grow food for animals and to maintain them.

6. World Hunger

Worldwide at least 50% of grain is fed to livestock. 82% of starving children live in countries where animals are fed and then sent to western countries for consumption.

7. Loss of Biodiversity

With our current consumption patterns, we are driving 200 species extinct each day! If we continue at this rate, we are likely to kill off virtually 100% of all wild animals by 2026. Will we be next?

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This newsletter was compiled by SHARAN Head of Mumbai, Reyna K Rupani, She facilitates the Six Weeks to Health Gain & Weight Loss program and also conducts health talks for schools, groups, corporates and more.

Edited by Vasanti Sundaram, Bangalore who has also benefitted from the SHARAN programmes, and now spreads awareness of plant based lifestyle through her talks.

Sanctuary for Health and Re-connection to Animals and Nature (SHARAN) is a social enterprise with the goal of spreading awareness about holistic health and an ecologically sustainable compassionate lifestyle.

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