Plastic is everywhere

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

Have you noticed that whenever you drink water from a plastic bottle it tastes different? That there is a chemical taste in the water? Perhaps after a while you get used to it. Or when you make ice cubes in a plastic tray, you can literally taste it in the cubes?

Plastic is a by-product of petroleum with different chemicals added to it in order to give it different properties. In today’s world it’s almost impossible to escape plastic. It’s everywhere – from wrapping and packaging materials to parts of your phone, computer even vehicles. Plastic doesn’t decompose. It’s most likely that 90% of the plastic made is still on the planet.

We use plastic to protect and yet, I think, it’s pretty amazing that we often don’t question the cleanliness of plastic. Washed hands may be questionable but plastic gloves are often accepted as clean in our plastic culture.

Plastic is harmful in a myriad of ways. It’s polluting the lands, the oceans, our water, and our bodies. It’s affecting our environment and our health; we must start being more mindful about it.

Join us on our Salad-versary as we complete one year of The Salad Revolution this weekend! Get salad-savvy, win prizes and get ready for our Salad Photography Contest where you can win CASH prizes!!!


The Plastic Cow

This eye opening film helps us understand the true extent of the problem in India, where you can seldom be in nature without seeing discarded plastic all around. 

Multi-purpose Cashew Paste

Most products that are store bought can actually be made at home. It’s time to begin unlabelling our kitchens for our health and the environment too. This simple cashew cream can be used in a variety of ways. Do try it!


200 g raw cashew nuts, soaked in double the quantity of water for 4 hours
A few tbsp warm water


Rinse and drain the soaked cashew nuts and grind to a fine paste in a blender. Add some water as required –  lesser the water, smoother the paste.

You can use this paste for a variety of dishes.


Add salt and lime juice for a fresh sour cream. Add a pinch of salt and refrigerate for a few days for it to ferment into sour cream or curd. Add salt and any spices or herbs of your choice (for example: garlic, black pepper, chillies, Italian herbs, nutritional yeast, etc.) and refrigerate for up to two weeks for it to mature into cheese.

Add more water to the cashew paste to make cashew milk: the more water you use, the thinner your milk will be. Use the milk for milkshakes, lassi/ buttermilk/ chaas, with breakfast cereals, etc.

Yield: approx 300 g paste

Food For The Mind


If you love Facebook, then join us to be supported on your plant based journey. We are offering two possibilities

1. SHARAN India 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 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.

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.


How Plastic Enters Our Bodies

Plastic is everywhere. It is said that we inadvertently consume microplastics daily. It’s nearly impossible to totally exclude plastics. All we can do is be aware and minimise their use. Plastics are hormone disruptors and even carcinogens, and sometimes we don’t recognise how much of a threat they are. Here are a few ways that plastics can enter our bodies.

1. Water

It’s true. Just plain tap water contains microplastics.

2. Packaging of foods may cause the plastic to leach into the food

Tetrapaks are lined with plastic. Bottled water and many drinks are bought in plastic containers. Milk and yogurt are commonly bought in plastic and so are meats and other products. 

3. Synthetic clothes

These release microfibers into the water each time they are washed, and in turn pollute the water supply. These are too tiny to be seen by the naked eye but  present in the water we use. 

4. Microbeads 

Exfoliating personal care products and toothpastes may contain plastic microbeads. Detergents do too. All these end up in the  ground water.

5. Fish

Since the oceans and waterways are full of plastic, fish are often high in plastic and microplastic content. 

6. Milk

Yes, it’s true! In countries like India where organic waste is disposed everywhere in plastic bags and cows graze on the garbage, studies have routinely found PCBs in the milk .

7. Meat

Shockingly, food for herbivorous animals in our food chains contains rendered slaughterhouse by-products and fish by-catch. These include stomachs full of plastic or  plastic tags – any part of the animal that is not sold or eaten.

8. Disposable cups and plates

This is fuelled by the take-away culture. Hot food packed in plastic causes the plastic to leach into the food.

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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 Deepa Ballal, a freelance writer based in Dubai.

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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