Saturday, October 27, 2012

Choosing between more Education and more Experience

So I have been in this sort of toss up for a while.  Especially after getting married.  My husband is an inspirational teacher, so he is often on the road, and I'm often on the road with him.  He teaches in the States, Europe, Australia, different parts of Asia and of course across India.  It's fun travelling with him, but I do feel I've become a bit idle when it comes to the work that I feel really passionate about.  Which is green communities and creating green communities.  I love every aspect of it, from the idea of reinvigorating old buildings to become new thriving works of art, to reinvigorating areas of town to become the new cool centers.  Through a variety of means but mainly creating green spaces, community gardens and not to be without strips and patches of native plant communities to support wildlife-wildlife coordidoors :).

This is would include patio gardens, rooftop gardens, native and food plants filling the streets and windows.  Fruiting vining plants up sides of buildings.  Buildings built in perhaps more pyramid-like shapes in order to support more plants!  Banning vehicles in certain parts of town, more walking centers, more bicycle friendly roads.

Reinvigorating our soils, I would love to learn remediation techniques where toxins can be broken down to harmless particles.  The book, Mycelium Running, by Paul Stamets is excellent!  He talks about how mushrooms can break down different sorts of petroleum compounds into safe substances!  Even some of the mushrooms once grown in petroleum filled soil, have been tested safe for consumption!  (please don't try this at home, because I can't remember the exact details of the exact experiment, but it shows the potential possibility of how bioremediation could really benefit our lands!)

Not only remediating our soils, but taking care of it in such a way that it can thrive!

Of course, in places which are colder, building structures - green greenhouses.  Meaning no fossil fuels are used, but perhaps natural building techniques combined with efficient water recycling systems and perhaps solar panels.- just some ideas.

Creating a culture where nothing is thrown away, everything can be either washed and reused or composted.  Containers which are composted, are only made from sustainably harvested materials, and nothing is really produced on a large scale.

Because of the healthy soils and plants which would inundate the cities, the air would be fresh and clear.  There would also be many greywater gardens, and either natural or man-made wetlands in order to naturally filter our water.  Clean water and foods (from plants!)  would be available to all.

Buildings would be made of natural materials, and everyone would learn in school about taking care of soils, plants and natural buildings.

Everyone would then have full access to food, clean water, and shelter.

This would free up ALOT of time.  We could dedicate our lives to creativity, connection and not taking life too seriously.

We could share in each others gifts, hand made bamboo clothes, beautiful music, dancing, poems  sharing of stories and the playing of many games, as well as playing in natures abundance (haha am I a total hippie or what?) swimming in clean water, climbing trees, etc.

Welcome to my dream world!! I hope you enjoyed it :).

Anyway back to reality.

I went off on a slight tangent, but my point in this, is that my interests are focused yet.. I mean come on for me to learn all the details of how to create everything I just listed above.. well it may or may not be realistic but haha I guess that's what dreams are for, right??

And of course there is another slight addition to everything above, of course this is from my perception.  But I do believe all of our health problems today are because we've really lost touch with joy in our lives. We've lost touch of that connection to ourselves, to our community, to our lands and animals.  We have lost touch with wholesome food - both physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

I believe that if we can start taking steps towards more wholesome environments, we too can become healthy.  Atleast a little more than what we are today, with all of the flying figures of terminal diseases and what not we have today.

So, see how many tangents I have a tendency to go off on?

My point is, after many circles of where I should focus my energies, what should I learn first.  I feel that what I have boiled it down to is soil science -agroecology.

Before I have a chance to live in my perfect little world (the descriptions found above)  I live in this one.  And I would love the opportunity to learn a little more in depth about why soils function the way they do, and what are the best ways we can make them healthy?  Once soil becomes healthy, then everything that comes out of the soil must also be healthy?  Right?

It may or may not be true, but I would love to learn more about it.  I would love to be able to visit these organic farms and understand more indepth why they have the certain pest problems they do, how they can adjust their farming practices to enable their plants more resiliency for the challenge of climate change.  Right now, we have a lack of people really skillfull in this area, in developing and planning landscapes to be healthier and more productive- in a sustainable way!

- And of course, I always have ideas and thoughts about why certain plants are not growing well, etc, and ideas for change, but whether or not that is the BEST solution, I can't know for sure.

I have thought so much about whether or not college is the best option, or if just experimenting on my own is better or picking up jobs with people who are really doing awesome work.  But what happens is, I see that I end up not really pushing myself to learn as much as I could.  I buy a lot of books, I am always reading, but the retention of knowledge is sometimes there and sometimes isn't.  And of course, I end up travelling a lot, which doesn't really help in my will to really sit down and study one thing for a long time.

So I feel pretty strongly at this point to go back to school.

However, I'm thinking of going back to school in the states, and currently I am in India.

Which does create a bit of turmoil inside of me.  Because there are a lot of really amazing things happening in India at the moment.  For example, I've recently met someone who is an amazing vegan chef and together we make an awesome team!  And she is really into this idea of working together and creating a vegan business, hehe I even shared our menu on this blog.  We do have amazing food if you all are interested in us delivering :), our prices are negotiable as well.

We are also really into sustainability, so if we start something, I want to make sure all of the containers we use are reusable.  If we open a restaurant, I want to invest as soon as possible in alternative energy, grow our own food... etc etc.  It would absolutely be an amazing place.

As of now, I feel this kinda pull.  Is it possible to do both?  (go back to school in utah plus have this business in India .. lol)

The edge of a decision!! The funny thing is I'm about knee deep in both options at the moment.  I've already been corresponding with the school back in Utah, they are expecting my application, and I have already started my application, everything.  And I have been working with my friend on vegan healthy foods and selling stuff- which has been a lot of fun.

hehe. What to do.

But I realized one thing, I learned something really nice from my dear husband, whatever advice you try to give others, is actually only meant for yourself.  So haha of course, like usual my mind was playing over a conversation from another time, and I felt like I had just found the solution to one of my friends problems.. LOL i know right, pretty pathetic... but I turned it around.. and decided to apply it to my situation.

I've been feeling a bit stuck in my current situation.  I think because I am not fully involved/dedicated really in anything, and it's difficult for me to become fully involved in anything because I have a tendency to want to be involved in EVERYTHING.

I keep expecting an external environment to grant me freedom, to be soooo appealing to me that I do dive in head first.  I want to be free of this stagnation I have been feeling.

but only WE can grant OURSELVES the freedom.  It has nothing to do with our external situations.

Ugh, tough lesson to learn.  India is good at teaching those ones!

Anyway the thought that I am the only one actually in control of my freedom was relieving.
I guess the point is, I can be happy no matter what I do.  I can be happy no matter what the outcome is.

I can appreciate and love the world just the way it is.  I can appreciate and love myself just the way I am.

Nothing needs to change in order for me to be happy.

and in this, my freedom is granted.

I can still apply for the school.  I can be honest with the people around me about how I feel.  I can still put my all into vegan cooking as long as I am still in India.  And I can leave the rest to fate.

And I can still be free.

And I can still be happy.

SO thanks guys for listening to my internal discussions on whether I should go back to school or not!!

Hehe come again. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Opinion on the Elections and the 'Economy'

I was browsing facebook when I noticed a conversation between a few friends from back in my town.   One was mentioning how unfair it is that gay's and lesbians don't have equal rights and how it's difficult for her to watch them being treated so differently.  She attached a note written by someone about Romney's views to continue to withhold gay rights.

Another friend started commenting that even though it is true that the gay and lesbian communities should have equal rights, overall she felt that Romney's policies were better for the economy.  Economy was her number one concern.

I couldn't help but posting on this one, because to me, I can't see Romney's policies helping the economy at all.  Maybe in the short term he might boost jobs here and there, but in the long term, I only see destruction.

He supports oil and gas all the way, atleast Obama has been taking more of a middle ground when it comes to oil and gas, and has also been supporting alternative energy on a much larger scale.  Honestly if I had it my way, I would vote for some vegan permaculturist (please don't take me too seriously :) ). But as the choices are currently, I will happily support Obama over Romney any day.

Here was my little blurb posted on Facebook:

I voted obama and I am happy I did, even if my count goes unheard in the state of Utah, I believe the economy is going down the tube  because we are only focusing on the economy, while ignoring everything else. We are ignoring the main reasons for our health crisis's, ignoring pollution, ignoring our inclination for a quick recovery while not looking at all of the facts. America drives a lot of the prices abroad, and most of those prices are unfair. Politicians have little to do with our economy. We actually bring it on ourselves. If we look around we are surrounded with resources. For some reason we've only been looking at pristine environments and precious rocks as resources. But can we look at how much waste we are generating? In india, their economy is booming, why? Because the people here are absolutely ingenious. I see people making a living off of collecting trash and making beautiful lamps out of them. Right now supporting the 'economy' means tearing down our natural beautiful areas in the world, our forests, our jungles our mountains, for oil and other resources in order to' lower costs' and drive people to buy more. But how long can we live like this? It's not realistic for us to continue at this pace. Especially the way we devalue workers in other countries every day just so we can live like this? What really matters in life.. a roof over our heads? Healthy food to eat? Who's responsibility is that? Our forests and our oceans keep us alive, we breathe their clean air they provide us with. Their is no arguing that once they are gone so are we. The economy is only an illusion.

My first real drive in India

Since I've recently pretty much moved to India, at least for the time being, there's been a lot of things to kinda adjust to.

I live with my husband's family, which is good, because I don't really know the language, it's a little difficult for me to get around without the help of others, and well it's just totally different from the states here!

 I watched a really nice movie the other day, Finding Joe.  It talked about doing something at least once a week which is outside of your comfort zone.  I thought it was a nice idea.  Why not everyday?

So today I drove for a good amount of time through and around the middle of Pune.  I think if you would have told me a year ago to jump in the drivers seat of the car and drive to the places I did today I probably would have shat my pants.  But actually, it was really no big deal.  I couldn't believe how not scary it actually was.  Cars in India, are very observant drivers and they watch out for everything around them!  It's amazing.  It kinda reminds me of magnets or something in orbit.  Cars maintain their distances, and also move with a pattern or a rhythm around each other.  It's kinda like when you are walking down a busy sidewalk, you watch out for people cutting through or walking faster or running.  Anyway, it was a great experience to try something that used to be so outrageously out of my comfort zone, but actually be okay with it.

Quick update on my makeshift edible balcony garden: It's really hard to tell if all of the plants I've planted on my balcony are surviving or not?  I'm doing my best to keep them moist, as Indian heat can be brutal.  But maybe I will see for sure what has made it and what hasn't in a few weeks?

Also, my father in law braved out my passion fruit drink!!! I couldn't believe it, I asked him if he would like to try some and he loved it! He actually drank the whole glass!  So, I will definitely have to try and make some more and try it myself.

Other than that, I'm super excited that I'm somewhat mobile now, I need to make it a point to face my fears more often :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Passion Fruit Ferment

So yesterday I was a little unsure of whether or not I should harvest my little fermented bowl of passion fruit seeds (I recently came home with a few passionfruits, and I wanted to try and save the seeds of one of them so I could plant them on my patio garden).  Today it was clear that they were ready.  The molds had spread across the top and I decided to take them out and separate them from their flesh.

The interesting thing about this little concoction, was that it smelt amazing.  Maybe it's just the smell of passion fruit that remained.  But even as it had fermented, it still had this amazing smell.  I threw away the top part, but I decided to keep the juice.  Currently the juice is sitting in my refrigerator.  I didn't really have the guts to try it, I spent a while online researching about fermented fruit drinks.  Basically I found really no evidence that it was harmful, unless you are sourcing your products from farms which aren't organic, you may have more of a risk that a fruit has had some exposure to contaminated manure.  But for my case, I was the one who picked up the fruits, and they had been planted in the forest, so I see little reason for them to have been contaminated.

I also googled about fermenting cultures.  Most fermented foods either use, salt, whey, kefir grains or other freeze dried cultures (that is the ones you make at home, 'fermented' foods from the supermarket, typically don't really have the health benefits of ones made at home, since the ones from the store will most likely be pasteurized and full of preservatives).  From what I found, and please correct me if I researched this wrong, it's not so much about the danger of not using any of these cultures while fermenting (for example- getting some crowd of organisms growing on your vegetable or fruit which is harmful to your health) as it is, just not having a pleasant taste or a pleasant texture when consuming it!

I found this to be fascinating!  Which means, my fermented little passion fruit drink is totally safe.. to an extent.  I did use tap water, which I may be immune to it by now??  But I caught myself mid way through and started using filtered water, incase I work up the guts to try this drink!  I'm sure I would be okay, I could also spit it out and wash my mouth afterwards?

Anyway, it is sitting in my fridge, so if any of you Pune residents are feeling brave, I'd be happy to let you try it out!

The next step, is sprouting the little seeds.  I have no idea if it will work, but I'm gonna give it a shot.  I'll sprout them, just as I would regular sprouts.  I'll make sure they stay damp in their little bowl, and I'll water them 2x a day.  I also planted a couple of papaya seeds, we'll see how they do!

I also set aside some cantaloupe seeds to ferment. Which now that I think about it, probably won't work, because I know when it comes to pumpkins and other squashes, you have to wait for the fruit itself to basically go bad, and not until then will the seed be viable.

So cantaloupe may very well be in the same category.. and if any of you have any insights on this stuff, please leave a comment :)  I'm always happy to learn more.  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Composting in an apartment

We are not here to persuade others, we are here to live our truths.

Just live the way you want to.  Others can think, do or say what they want, but in the end, you had your freedom.  You chose your path.  Nothing else really matters.

I'm learning this lesson, even if I haven't fully embraced it as of yet.

I live in an apartment in Pune, a nice community.  I have started experimenting with growing greens and other vegetables purchased from the supermarket.  I bought some soil and pots the other day and started planting different plants - beet root, cilantro, amaranth, curry leaves and sweet potato.

The amaranth and the curry leaves had no roots attached, I was hoping that if I put them into a bowl of water, that maybe they would grow some??  I was hoping.  They have been sitting in this bowl of water for a few days now, but mostly they are just shriveling or getting a bit soggy .. on some of the lower leaves.  I know it was a bit of a stretch! But I wanted to see if it would work.

Also yesterday I was cutting up a pomegranate  it was looking a little past its date, it still tasted fine, but I decided that maybe I could try to feed it to the birds.

Right after I set it outside on my balcony, I saw this really cool black bird, I haven't seen before, it had a bit of crest on it's head, sooo cute!  I have no idea what it was.  I got really excited that maybe my pomegranate had brought him around.  I know that typically people put out grains and seeds or nectar for birds, but when I'm at the farm, I always see birds pecking away at all sorts of fruits on the trees.

Anyway, I was disappointed to see today that my whole plate of pomegranate seeds were still lying on the balcony, it didn't look so much like any thing had really touched it.  I guess in the future I will need to be more diligent about watching it, to see if anything would come!

I've also started doing my best to not throw plastic away or plastic bags, this includes no using plastic as linings in my trash cans.  The main challenge is how dirty the compost bucket gets, and a little fruit fly dilemma, but its not really enough for me to want to change my habits, even as I have my brother and sister in laws living at home :). Even though, they seem pretty cool with all of my crazy experiments.

My solution for fruit flies, is keeping my compost bucket on the porch, and open to the air.  Let the flies have at it! As long as they aren't inundating my kitchen, I'm totally cool.  Plus, the Indian sun, is great at drying stuff out, so it really helps dry out any kind of fruits or anything wet in the compost bucket, which normally might pick up a bit of a smell.

We are pretty lucky in my building, they do pick up trash and they pick up compost separately.

Actually our building is doing a lot to be a little more 'sustainable' I guess you could say.  They recycle all of their water.  They use solar heating for the showers, we are always have hot water ps.  The engineering on that one was really well thought out!  Especially since we have 10 floors and 3 families per floor.  That's a lot of hot water for showers available!

We also have a decent amount of green space which is nice- gardens between the buildings along with trees and grass, which is impressive because underneath the terraces is the garage for the whole complex.

There is no central heat or AC, not really different from the rest of India, but I find it a good thing because then people can save electricity by either having individual units for whatever room they are in, or they can have more energy efficient systems, such as 'breeze air'.  A technology from Australia which my mother in law uses.  I'm not exactly sure how it works, but it's much more efficient and it easily cools the whole house.

The need for any kind of heat in this place, is pretty much zero.

So I've also been experimenting with placing all of my green leafy (dry compost) compost just directly in my potted plants.  I have a few potted plants, which came from my mother in law.  A few of them I recognize, but my recognizing plant abilities is pretty limited to one region of the world, unincluding house varieties.  That region is the middle of the Uinta Basin in Utah.  Lol, which those plants, I would be very surprised to see them anywhere else.  Mostly it consists of desert shrubs.

The one thing that looks promising, in my little experimental plantings is actually the cilantro.  In the beginning it was looking pretty sad, and the biggest stalk was all the way leaned over on the side of the pot.

Yesterday I noticed that it had actually perked up a bit!  That it was no longer leaning on the side but actually had lifted itself up!  It was pretty incredible.  Even if I have one success story from my little experiments. I could be happy with that!

I have also let my passion fruit seeds aside in a little bowl of water to ferment a bit.  I am just guessing that that is what needed to be done with them.  Because I know with tomato seeds, that's what you have to do.  The passion fruit seeds now have a little layer of mold on top, so now I'm wondering if that means they should be ready or if I should mix them up a bit and see if the seeds have dis-attached to the fruit? :) I will check it out later, and let you know how it all worked out!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Container Gardening

I have been wanting to start a container garden on my balcony for quite a while now, but I was never really sure of where to go for the plants or the pots or the soil.  I have had the chance to visit many farms at this point, but figuring out the whole transporting pots and soil here, seemed a little bit too much time investment.

Yesterday I ran into a friend at Dorabjees, my favorite store here in Pune located just off of the airport road. She invited me over and explained to my driver how to get there.

We chatted for a bit and I was explaining to her about how I used to work as a field tech biologist, working long hours in the desert looking for endangered plants and animals.  She got up and showed me to her balcony where she was growing a variety of edible greens!  She was even growing purselane!  She was saying that purselane actually originated from India!  I had no idea.  Apparently it is the highest source of omega 3 long chain fatty acids than any other green plant food.  She had gotten the plant from a village market.  All she does, is throw her old vegetables into pots of dirt, and eventually they start growing!  Especially any greens from the market, if the root is still on them, they'll start growing if given the right environment.

I couldn't believe it!  I asked her where she got her pots and her dirt from, she said, behind her house their was a nursery selling.  They even sold organic vermicompost.  I think some permaculture deva answered my prayers.  I asked her if she had time to come with me to the market, she didn't but she happily explained to my driver how I could get there, and also told me how much everything would cost.  I bought 5 pots of dirt plus vermicost for about 500 rupees or 10 dollars.

I think I lucked out.

As soon as I made it home I started planting.  I took out all of my green leafy vegetables- the ones I had just purchased from my favorite super market, esp the ones with roots still intact, trimmed them up a bit and planted them in the pots.  The ones without visible roots, I've placed in little glasses of water, and I'm basically using my power of prayer to see if they grow any roots.

So far, I have planted one beetroot, one sweet potato, one chikoo, cilantro, curry leaves and amaranth.  I am also attempting to cure some seeds I got from Gomukh, I was gifted a few passionfruits so at the moment I am fermenting them in a some water so they will release their grip on the passion fruit meat, and afterwards I will see if they might sprout!

I am so overly excited about this new venture.

Also, I have recently invented a soap which works pretty well for dish washing.. I wouldn't recommend using it for your dishwasher but for handwashing it's awesome!

2 T flax seed, 4 T water, 1 T vinegar, 1 tsp baking soda.

Let it fizzle and do it's thing and it's ready to scrub away, it even has a soapy like consistency.  Try it out!  :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Vegan Whole Food Catering and Delivery, Pune

Vegan Catering and Delivery Services
Pune Maharashtra

Thank you for your interest in our food! We cook not only for with the health of the body in mind, but also the health of our environment. Vegan food has a positive karmic and environmental impact on the world we live in. As we know that avoiding animal products can do much for health, it is also important for our bodies to consume foods closest to their natural states – whole foods! We cook everything from scratch, with as many high quality ingredients as we can manage to get our hands on! As many of the ingredients we can source from organic farms we do and if we get the opportunity to pick up highly nutritious organic ingredients from abroad we do that too! This is why our pricing reflects as it does. We care about your health, if you are interested in knowing more about the ingredients in any of the following items please contact us, and let us know your dietary needs! We are happy to adjust our recipes according to your preferences.

The integrity of your food is our primary concern. There will never be any cholesterol, trans fats , hydrogenated oils, msg, high fructose corn syrup, ghee, eggs, milk, meat, fish and dairy in any of our foods. Whenever possible we aim to create oil, sugar and gluten free foods as well as sourcing as many organic ingredients as we can.

- Green smoothies 1 liter 1,100 rps
- Fruit smoothies 1 liter 600 rps
  • savory organic vegetable smoothies 1 liter 500 rps
  • sugar free lemonade 1 liter 250 rps
  • Elixirs – fig and ginger, watermelon; mint and pomegranite.. etc 1 liter 250 rps

Appetizers and Snacks: ALL OIL FREE and Organic
- Corn Crispies
  • Jawar + Sesame Lavash
  • Date Snacks 10 rps each
  • Baked Papdis
  • Chiwda

Spreads and cheeses:
  • Feta cheese 4 oz 275 rps
  • Chocolate butter (made from organic cold pressed coconut oil) 8 oz 500 rps
  • Herb and lemon butter 8 oz 350 rps
  • Ghee (made from rice bran oil, high in vitamin E) 8 oz 250 rps
  • Organic sunflower seed spread 2 oz 180 rps
  • Hummus 12 oz 300 rps
  • Frosting (many flavors: vanilla, chocolate, cream cheese... etc) 12 oz 300 rps
  • Guacemole 4 oz 300 rps
  • Salsa 4oz 250 rps

Baked and Unbaked Goods: Raw cakes will be made without maida, sugar, oil or gluten, depending on the baked good, it can be requested to be made without these ingredients as well.
  • Raw cakes (chocolate, vanilla, many fruit flavors!) 2,500 rps per cake for a 16”x12”
  • Gourmet Vegan Cakes (can be made without maida and sugar. A few flavors include: Chocolate orange ginger cake, carrot cake, pumpkin swiss roll, zucchini chocolate cake, pineapple coconut cake, etc.) 2,000 rps per cake 16”x 12”
  • Brownies and Cookies 1,000rps per set of 12
  • Sweet breads (chocolate, pumpkin, banana, zucchini, carrot, lemon, maple flax, tomato spice,etc.) 1,000rps per bread 16X12
  • Soda breads (plain, olive, herb, tomato) 500 rps per bread 16”x6”
  • Fruit cobblers and crisps (apple, pear or other ingredients which may be in season) 670 rps per 16” round dish
  • Cheesecakes and Pies (can be made raw, some flavors include: chocolate brownie, pumpkin, vanilla, chocolate peanut butter banana, key lime, lemon meringue) 750 rps per 16” round dish

Yes and we also cater! Are time availability is limited so please let us know well in advance :)


600 rupees per serving – full dish for one person
200 rupees per serving – full dish of organic brown rice for one person.
2000 rupees for full dish serving 4.
500 rupees for Organic Rice serving 4

Thai food
  • Red and green curries
  • Pad Thai noodles
  • Masaman Curry
  • Issan Vegetables
  • Fried Veetables/ Ginger Cashewnuts
  • Thai concentrated pastes for cooking
  • Spicy glass noodle salad
  • Papaya salad
  • Stir fried bean sprout
  • Vegetables and Tofu
  • Fried Rice

  • Steamed vegetables
  • Mashed potatoes plus gravy
  • Tofu Roasts
  • Baked Casseroles
  • Vegetable pot pies
  • Macaroni and cheese + Vegetables
  • Corn chowder
  • Southwester corn casserole
  • Stuffed cabbage rolls
  • Chilli (Spicy bean soup)
  • Tofu, Almond and Vegetable burgers
  • Pizza
  • Baked potato's and beans
  • Raw Ketchup
  • Homemade mustard

  • Pasta made by us, delivered to you in dry form. (made from a variety of attas and vegetables, many pasta shapes and sizes available, including ravioli)
  • Excellent freshly made tomato sauce, aunthentic Italian style!
  • Italian soups – minestrone, etc.
  • Some example dishes:
    • Spaghetti and tofu “meat” balls
    • Mushroom Cannelloni with sundried tomato white sauce
    • Eggplant parmesan

  • Carrot hummus
  • Red kidney bean hummus
  • Baked Falafels
  • Homemade wholewheat pita breads

  • Taco salad
  • Sweet potato and black bean burrito
  • Black bean tortilla chip soup
  • Zesty creamy cilantro green salad
  • Savory vegetable burritos complete with guacemole, sour cream, tomato and fresh greens

  • Mushroom rolls
  • Idlis (made from any of the following: red rice, corn, bajra and vegetable)
  • Dosas and Uttapams
  • Chutney's (many including onion, garlic and chilli chutney)
  • Oil free Kebabs
  • Curries, dahl, rotis and a variety of vegetables!

Minimum orders for 1,500 rps
+ 250 delivery cost

Catering services, pricing depends on dishes and number of dishes per person

3,600 rps to reserve a day for us to serve you
in addition to the number of people will be serving and the number of dishes
wished to be served.

Maximum catering services up to 50 people


Esther Shanti

Vegan whole foods for a healthy body and world

So recently I met a lady here in Pune, she is very into healthy eating and healthy cooking.  She caters vegan and oil free food.  Her name is Anuradha and she has a company which she calls "Back to the Basics"

No one else in Pune is marketing oil free and vegan food, I realized that in one weekend selling this stuff at a booth -vegan cakes, breads, oil free snacks and other amazing items :)  there was a huge demand!  And a wonderfully positive response!  I've written up a menu that I will post next about the prices and products.

I know in the permaculture world, vegans can sometimes be far and and in between.  Yet, although, I may be a strict vegan, I still am gonna do my best to support the general movement of farms and people towards a healthier lifestyle and a healthier planet.  Even if that means supporting operations which have animals, yet they use no chemicals.

Many people are curious about my "perceived"  lack of "variety" in my food.  I consume no animal products, this means no meat, dairy, egg, cheese, icecream, yogurt, butter, ghee, etc.

But the truth is, it may be difficult in the beginning to take out these foods, but once done, the cravings completely go away.  What once used to to torment you- meaning screaming at all of your desires- chocolate ice cream!  - no longer even looks like food anymore, and the smell becomes so god awful, you hardly want it near you at all!

And now, honestly, I perceive that I am the one with more variety to my food, most people don't really even recognize the ingredients that I use, and I have come to love these new tastes, I honestly view the kinds of foods I used to eat as incredibly tasteless and boring compared to what I eat now. (I first got into these kinds of foods from buying a vegan cookbook and then a raw food cookbook, I think these were a few of the best investments I've made in regards to my health)

Cravings, are in essence your body shouting at you for nutrients.  However, in today's world, many of us haven't given our bodies the opportunity to eat foods or enough of the right foods which let our bodies know, the true meaning of its craving.  So what do we do?  We jam our mouths full of whatever food we can get our mouths on, whatever can go down the easiest and whatever fills our stomach the fastest, when we get that hungry the last thing we want to do is munch on a carrot!  It takes too much time to chew and to fill our stomaches with something like that!  So we grab that bag of chips and that soda.  This completely knocks out any sensations we were feeling, because now your body is in alert mode!  It has to use all of its energy stores to get rid of these nutrient lacking foods, in order to get the energy it needs to just digest it, many times it will ask the brain for its extra glucose .. (meaning asking the brain to go to SLEEP)  This is about the time we all feel like napping, correct?  After a heavy meal.

Then what after the heavy meal?  You got it, you wake up and feel hungry again.  The better option, take a salad, leave out the oil and blend it in your blender!  Add an avocado, maybe some green onions and some lime juice.  Once you start filling your body with foods which it most efficiently runs on, your cravings completely disappear.

You have more energy throughout the day, no crashes, no sugar rushes.  It feels great!

You feel alive!

And what else?  This food has also a very low impact on our planet!  Think of the amount of energy needed to make that pack of chips and that soda.  Think about the millions of gallons of water used in those plants, for cleaning, the massive mountains which have been moved for mining our aluminum containers or for extracting oil for creating plastics.  Think about the huge factories pumping CO2 and other harmful chemicals into our air, think about the waste water created from these factories coming into our waters.  Take it one more step back, the amount of pesticides and fertilizers used to grow the sugar in your soda as well as the potatoes in that bag of chips, mass demand, demands for extremely depleting farming technologies.  This kind of a system can only keep a field producing for so long, and once it breaks, another forest needs to be logged in order to deplete more soil, allow more runoff into our waters of toxic chemicals, more rivers without salmon and trout.  More estuaries and coral reefs zones turning into dead zones.  Fast forward, then what happens to that little plastic bag, that soda bottle?  In India, there is hardly space for things like landfills, and the infrastructure is also missing.  Cows eat trash.  On average, when a cow dies, 20 plastic bags are found inside of their stomachs.  Those toxic chemicals in plastics which leach every time your container is exposed to heat, comes out in that cow.  As well as whatever else the cow has been consuming - batteries, household cleaners, etc.

We think that in America we protected from contaminated milk, think again.  In utah, because of the dairy farmers going out of business, our biggest milk and cheese manufacturing plants take their milk from India.  None of that milk is certified organic, I can tell you that much.

  This isn't rocket science.  It isn't about our politicians taking action to make sure we have health care and to keep our streets clean and crime free.  What are investing in?  How are we using our bodies and our minds?  Are we feeding ourselves with natural ingredients or are starving and depriving our bodies of real nutrients?

Diabetes, cancer, hypertension, high blood pressure.. these are lifestyle diseases.  Stress is a huge factor, but diet can take you a very long way towards health.

There is so much information on the web.  Please don't take my word for it, check it out for yourselves, how many people do you know who have cured themselves of any of these things, how did they do it?  How many people do you know suffering from one ailment or another, what do they eat like?

I've encountered some of the best nutritional experts in India, and they have helped dozens of people reverse diabetes, reverse many of these lifestyle diseases, in fact, my father in law is one of them!  After only 2 months on taking out 90% of the animal products and oil from his diet he has cut his insulin by half!

It's a common misconception that people need lots of protein from animal foods.  Actually at our most crucial growing point in our lives, as a baby, we need only about 2% protein in our foods.  How do we know this?  Because that's about how much is in human milk.  Ironically it's about the same percentage as the amount of protein in fruit!  In the western worlds we don't have problems with too little protein, we have problems with excess protein.  Too much protein in our bodies creates an acidic environment, and in order to buffer an acidic environment, your body has to take the minerals from your food and if that isn't enough than the minerals from your bones, in order to balance out the acidity in the stomach.

Animal products are extremely acidic to your body once digested.  Our digestive tracts are actually long, comparable to other primates who only eat plant foods, this allows us to assimilate more nutrients in our tracts as we digest.  When we consume animal foods, they rot in our systems because it takes our bodies so long to digest them, because we don't naturally have an acidic stomach, as all carnivores actually do.  For example cats have short digestive tracts which are acidic in nature, so they can quickly digest raw animal meat without having to worry about parasites and other potentially harmful bacteria because their stomach kills any harmful organisms in the meat, and their tracts are short enough nothing goes rotten in the process.

I also found an interesting article about how our consumption of animal products has really fueled
if not been the primary cause of global warming and deforestation.

The following is posted from the website:


Posted by: Administrator on 3/18/2011 
At the Juice Fast to Stop Global Warming hosted by Agape International Spiritual Center in L.A, 90% of the fasters committed to being vegan. The key thing to understand is that we are really in severe imbalance with the planet, and there is one main cause.  It is called animal agriculture. This main cause is the big cow in the middle of the living room of the environmentalists.

If you look very closely, the environmentalists in the US are all talking about carbon dioxide as the big problem.  No one mentions animal agriculture.  Now there are reasons for that, which are actually stated, and that is: “We do not want to go against the animal/ dairy industry and hunters.”  So people are willing to sacrifice the planet for this reason. The real inconvenient truth is that carbon dioxide is not the main cause of global warming. The main cause of global warming is animal agriculture.

The fact that animal agriculture is the main cause of global warming has been scientifically proven by Dr. James Hansen, who is head of the global warming research for NASA, and is the grandfather of global warming research. According to him, carbon dioxide is 9% of the problem— at best. According to Dr. Hansen, the aerosols (which are cooling) that are released with some of the sources of carbon dioxide help to nullify even that 9%. That is an impressive statement.

The truth is you can do all your improvements with electricity, use as many Prius cars as possible and go as green as you want (which is a good thing), but you really aren’t going to make much difference in terms of global warming (weather instability), because carbon dioxide isn’t really the big problem. The big problem is methane.

Methane accounts for about 50% of global warming. The research varies. We have to be clear. Whether it’s 25 times or
100 times more warming isn’t really the point. The point is that methane is at least 25 times more potent a global warmer than carbon dioxide.

What’s really important here is that carbon dioxide takes between 100 and 10,000 years to get out of the atmosphere. The research varies, but even if it’s as little as 100 years, we’ve got to stop it now—not 100 years from now.  Methane takes 9 to 15 years to get out of the atmosphere. That means that if everyone went vegan now, we’d have the opportunity to bring global warming to a halt—almost immediately.

Methane comes 85% from cows burping and farting; this is a problem because there’s a lot of cows on the planet. The cows take up 70 percent of the arable land (that means agricultural land) and 30 % of the land  mass that is being used on the planet. That’s huge. The excretion of the cows is 130 times more than the human excretion on the planet.

The cows produce a billion pounds of manure a year in the United States. That manure gives off not only methane, but nitrous oxide, which has about 300 times more global warming potential than carbon dioxide. This billion pounds of manure produces 65% of the nitrous oxide in the US.

Methane and nitrous oxide are the major global warming gases. There is one more; it’s called ammonia.  Ammonia is given off a lot by the manure and also by the animal sewage lagoons. Ammonia has more to do with what we’ll call acid rain, which causes another set of global problems. They all work together to toxify the planet.

When you start to put it all together, it becomes very clear that the cow is the elephant in the living room of the environmentalists.  It is just amazing to see everyone focusing almost entirely on carbon dioxide, when it is such a minimal part.  No one is talking about the main cause, which is something that could make a difference immediately. This is a major contradiction.

The UN report, led by Pachauri called it the Long Shadow of the Meat Industry.  It  speaks very specifically to the fact that animal agriculture is the main cause of global warming.  He was attacked when he gave this report, because people don’t want to hear the truth.    As Winston Churchill said, “the truth is something you stumble over in time, but we manage to get up and brush ourselves off and keep going our merry way.” What we are looking at is somewhere between 1 or 2 years, as the more dire estimate, or more conservatively as Prince Charles says, 100 months, or 10 years before we hit a no return point.

It’s a very short time and this is why we are out there, going around the country, doing these fasts that help people go vegan. What we saw at Agape, which is really great, was that 90% of the people—and these were not vegan people—after the fast, were able to go vegan. This is because while fasting you lose your cellular memory for meat and dairy cravings.  Dairy has caseomorphines which are one tenth as strong as morphine, so it really is addicting. Meat activates opiods in the human brain which makes it addicting. In the fast you lose your caseomorphine and meat opiod addiction. This is how green juice fasts make it easier to go vegan.

What we like is that everybody is really ready to go vegan after this.  So that is why we are doing these fasts.  The next one will be in Portland at the end of August. Then we are looking at New York and Toronto, and then the cycle of L.A., Portland and Vancouver.  So we hope to not only get a number of people to go vegan, but to really make enough noise about this that people are actually willing to look at the cow in the living room.

Everybody’s life is at stake on the planet. We’ve got to get to understand what we’re talking about. Are we willing to go out of our comfort zone of our economic and dietary excesses to do this?

We have to look at the fact that since the 1950’s, in the U.S., meat-eating has increased by 54 pounds pounds per person. The average person in the United States eats 230 pounds of meat per year.  In Africa it’s 30 pounds per year.  The average around the world is 90 pounds per year.  China has increased its meat consumption since 1950 by 15 times. And what is the impact of that? The result of this increase is that China has become a grain importer since 1970, rather than an exporter.

How this happens is very simple. The grain to feed 100 cows is enough to feed 2,000 people. The cows in the United States eat five times the amount of grain than the US population does. Cows eat double the calories of the whole world’s population. The cows’ appetite for grain is a tremendous drain. All the data is a little variable, but these are generally accurate statistics. There is something like two billion tons of grain that are produced each year.  700 million of those go to feed the cows. So humans get a lot less than that, maybe 10 or 20%.

As has already been stated, the main cause of global warming is methane. What is interesting is that since the pre-industrial revolution, carbon dioxide has only increased 37% and methane has increased 150%.  Our problem lies with the non-carbon dioxide global warming gases.  Methane—number one, then nitrous oxide—number two.  The United States produces about 65 % of the nitrous oxide going out there.  Carbon dioxide—if at all, according to James Hansen—is less than 9%.

As we look at the issue of animal agriculture in an expanded way, the whole picture is much bigger than global warming, because when you move away from the hoarding mentality of animal agriculture, you do several really important things:

(I) You save lives and feed the hungry.

There is somewhere between an estimated 40 and 60 million people who starve to death each year and close to one billion suffering from malnutrition. The estimates are that if meat eaters cut down their meat consumption by 10%, it wouldn’t stop global warming, but there would be enough grain released to feed all those 40 to 60 million people.

There’s 29,500 children who die each day, according to the United Nations, of malnutrition and 25% of the children on the planet are seriously malnourished.  So what we’re looking at is we would release enough grain to feed all these kids. Think of them as your children and grandchildren.

Well, if you are a live foodist you may say, well, grain isn’t the best food. Well, it doesn’t matter; it’s better than dying. We have to kind of put a perspective on it.  If we don’t have that perspective and we are only seeing in absolutes, then we’re not seeing practical life saving reality.

Someone is making a choice that they’d rather feed the animals than feed the human population, because they’re making more money off this choice. There is no other way to talk about it. Animal agriculture is a powerful lobby. The Germans have the same problem as the U.S. population, but they are more honest about the problem.  Animal agriculture gets a lot of tax breaks. They want to take away all the tax breaks subsidizing all animal agriculture, which is a very reasonable thing to do, if you’re going to encourage a move to a plant based cuisine to end global warming. This would raise the cost of hamburger to around $70.00 per pound.

Thich Nhat Hahn said, in a speech in New York “when you eat meat, you are eating the flesh of all those children who have starved to death because there wasn’t enough food, grain to feed them.” This is not so esoteric.  If Thich Nhat Hahn is talking about it publicly, then this isn’t some kind of hiddeninformation. The math is really clear:  decreasing human deaths and feeding the hungry are two major effects of a plant-source- only diet.

The cow is an ecological time bomb in the living room.  Okay, and how soon are our politicians ready to deal with this?  Let’s say somebody like Obama.  He’s very smart.  His wife is very smart.  Gabriel will guarantee you they know some of this. They know that there’s a problem here.  Guaranteed.  How soon are they going to be ready to move on it and take the political heat for that?  How soon is the European Union—which is a lot further ahead than the United States—going to move on this and take the political heat for the preservation of the planet and its’ people, versus the preservation of some people’s economic interests? We hope the answer is one of mature social responsibility and planetary survival verses political expediency.

(II) Another good deed is to preserve the ecology.

We lose 20 million acres to deforestation each year. We have about 50 million acres going into desert per year.  That’s the state of the planet—turning into desert.  It’s big. And the planet can’t take too much more before she’s going to rebel.

The weather imbalances are a strong message of the existence of global warming. The sea water level, at least according to Prince Charles, is going up one meter per year. That means, and Gabriel has already seen this, that there are islands that are going under water. There are places in England on the coast line that are just literally going into the sea. The English government says… “What are we going to do?” This is what’s happening. We can’t guarantee you that your home is going to be there. We’re not going to build dykes because it’s against what’s going on. Mother Nature is saying “You’re not listening, so we are just going to up what’s going on.”

Some people have estimated that the water could rise 70 meters—that’s 210 feet.  Do you know what that is?  It’s a 10 story building.  Right now we’re saying one meter. That’s already happening.  On a lot of issues Mother Nature is speaking relatively gently right now.

The severity of hurricanes has increased significantly. There are more level 5 hurricanes than ever before.  Is anybody listening? Does anyone even want to pay attention?  Or are we going to keep responding to it as if, oh, we had a bad day.  Katrina happened. These aren’t accidents.

Global warming is part of the ecology imbalance. The typical American diet, carried out throughout the year uses approximately 11,000 gallons of oil per year. The typical American car will use about 9,000 gallons of oil per year. What we just said is that in eating your food, the typical American diet is going to basically use up more oil than driving your car.  Now if you’ve got a Prius, that would be 5,000 gallons.  If you’re eating basically your typical American diet, then you’re using up twice as much oil as your Prius.

Buying a Prius thinking really doesn’t solve the problem because carbon dioxide isn’t the main thing, but we’re getting a perspective. A meat eater will use approximately 440 gallons of oil per year. If you’re a lacto-ovo vegetarian you are going to use up 330 gallons a year (this is a different mathematical calculation system).  Okay, so that’s not too bad.  If you’re a vegan you’re using about 200 gallons a year. This is wonderful. If you’re an organic vegan, you’re using about 117 gallons of oil per year. This is one fourth the oil of that of a meat eater. Although the mathematical calculations are different, an organic vegan will use approximately one fourth the petrol energy of a meat eater. This is a major ecological shift.

Eating a plant-source-only organic diet supports organic farming which decreases global warming/weather instability.  Organic soil has organisms in it that pull carbon dioxide out of the air. It’s one thing to stop global warming, it is even better to heal the imbalance.  Organic farming actually pulls carbon dioxide out of the air into the soil. You’re actually repairing the situation. 3,700 pounds per acre of carbon dioxide per year are pulled out of the atmosphere and put back into the soil with organic farming.  Organic farming takes approximately 63% less energy.

Even worse is that meat-based agriculture and a meat-based diet uses 22 to 27 times more energy for its production versus a plant-based diet for an equal amount of protein.

Animal agriculture uses excessive amounts of water.  In my book Conscious Eating it said 50%, but now the statistics are saying that animal agriculture takes 70% of the water. This has immediate relevance.  In the last two years California has cut back 850,000 acres of plant producing agriculture related to water shortages, so there could be a famine coming soon. California is expecting severe drought, and also where they are allocating the water, isn’t away, necessarily away from the animal agriculture.  Farmers are saying they don’t have enough water to grow their crops.  If you’re looking at California, which produces 50% of all the crops for the United States, guess what? If they don’t have enough water and there is a drought due to what some people call global warming (some people think global cooling is going on as well), Gabriel is going to call it global weather instability. We have droughts here, and rain there.  Everything is out of balance. All this adds to famine potential.

This decrease in food production will be worldwide.  It is projected that China will have a 10% drop in its ability to feed its people before 2050.  It’s already having all kinds of trouble, and there isn’t enough food to go around because they are eating 15 times more meat than 50 years ago.

So that being said, what we are saying is that 70 % of the water is being used up by animal agriculture, and a significant part of the rest of the water is polluted from animal agriculture.  50% of the antibiotics goes to animals to try to ameliorate the fact that they are raised in such cruel ways that they’re sick more often. Those antibiotics pollute the water, as do pesticides and herbicides, tanning acids, and a variety of different things; as does the incredible amount of defecation that comes from the animals.  One pig farm causes as much defecation by-products as the entire population of New York City.  Just one big pig farm causes this much pollution.

At one pig farm, they had a break in one of the dykes, and some of the stuff from this pig farm leaked into the local river, and all the fish died in the river from the toxic pollution. They ruined all the water. They are ruining a lot of the water and as it stands we already have inadequate clean water worldwide.

With 70% of water sources is going to raise cows, what it comes down to is the average meat eater uses 4,500 gallons per day, and the average vegan uses 300 gallons per day. The average vegan saves 1.5 million gallons per year of water—a whole olympic swimming pool, not bad. Animal agriculture pollutes and uses up most of our water.

Literally, discussing animal agriculture isn’t even part of the global warming dialogue. That’s how inauthentic the discussion is. The head of the European Union has admitted this is ridiculous because this is the main cause.  People know it’s the main cause but they are afraid to talk about it because the animal agriculture lobby is so strong.  But at least the Europeans are saying that it is part of the global warming picture.    At least we consider them to be a part. Animal agriculture should be taxed for the amount of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ammonia they’re creating and they need not to be getting tax breaks for adding to global warming. This is pretty simple, because what it’s going to do is have people actually pay for the real value and cost of meat and dairy.

So the price of meat and dairy will go up, which is very appropriate.  Has anyone seen anything like that happening in the United States?  Has anyone seen any discussion like that happening in the United States?  Did Al Gore get a Nobel Prize for this—for telling the big lie? Yeah, global warming is happening. The big lie is why is it happening. And the big lie is so big that no one is even addressing it. It would be nice if the U.S. would deal with global warming causal realities. At least the European Union is talking about it. They may not succeed right away.    The good news on this whole thing is that the reality of going into extinction may take precedence over the reality of a few people continuing to make money over this.  It just may.  People are finally going to get – “Gosh, I have children…  I have grandchildren…What’s going to happen to them?”  Let’s at least slant it in favor of humanity by just taking away the tax advantages of animal agriculture.

Let’s tax people for their production of global warming gases and planetary pollution.

We’ve talked about energy and air pollution.  Part of the problem with air pollution is the decrease of oxygen in the air. We’ve talked about all the ammonia that’s going into the air, the nitrous oxide going into the air, the carbon dioxide—the little bit that’s there—all decreases the amount of oxygen in the air.
When we go below 19% oxygen, then we start to increase rates of cancer and poor health.  Some cities are already below. The way we are living—a meat centered, culture of death lifestyle that is polluting the air, earth, and water—is causing global warming. A meat centered diet is a disaster for the ecology.

Not only are we losing our whole rainforest, but because of the deforestation of the rainforest, about a thousand species die each year.  For every burger eaten, we lose 55 square feet of rainforest.  For every two billion fast-food burgers, another 100 species go extinct. Where does this stop?  It stops with us. Because the more we are informed, the more we can share.  It creates a wave of understanding that goes out into the world, so people can wake up.

(III) A plant based diet brings personal health to people.

We’ve talked about preventing starvation and misery and protecting the ecology with a vegan diet, but what about its effects on health?  Diabetes, for example, is four times higher in meat eaters. The A.M.A., in a moment of scientific clarity, in 1961 said 97% of heart disease is connected to eating a meat and dairy centered diet.  Cancer averages two to four times higher for most types on a meat and dairy centered diet.  Breast cancer is four times higher for meat eaters.  Now you have doctors in the USA they are saying that the way to prevent breast cancer is for women to have bilateral mastectomies.  I mean there are actually people saying this, in papers. Well, that’s an interesting solution.  How about stop eating meat?  Make it simple.

Analogues to this ridiculous approach to preventing breast cancer through bilateral mastectomies is the recent suggestion of President Obama’s new science advisor, John Holden, who has actually suggested the idea of geo-engineering the climate by shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays away from the earth. The National Academy of Science, The American Meteorological Society, and Princeton scientist Robert Socolow affirm that it should be an available option if things get worse.  But even John Holden said that shooting particles into the air (making an artificial volcano) could have grave side effects and would not solve all the problems of green house gases. Why is no one suggesting the simply obvious and truest solution to global warming—go vegan.

But nobody wants to talk about, again, the cow in the middle of the living room. That has to happen. The U.N. says that
diabetes is an international problem, but we do not hear the U.N. say go vegan even though diabetes is four times higher in meat eaters.

The real conflict of interest is: do you want your children and your grandchildren to be able to survive on the planet? Those are the real conflicts of interest versus the wealth of the few. As we begin to look at the issue, the whole health/disease system is very compromised by a meat and dairy centered diet.

(IV) A plant based diet ends animal cruelty, misery, and death.

Approximately 50 billion mammals and fish are killed each year. The negative effects of a meat centered diet is profound for the health and survival of the planet, the people, and the plants and animals living on it. Animal agriculture is a profound source of animal cruelty, misery, and pain—and meat eaters eat this pain and suffer their misery.

(V) A plant-based diet contributes to peace on the planet Meat eating activates the energy of death, aggression, and pain on the planet.

“…for cruelty expands in a man’s soul, as is well-known with respect to cattle slaughters.”
Rabbi Moshe ben Nachmen.  11th Century

“As long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seeds of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.”

It is no accident the word for war in Sanskrit is gavya which is translated as: the desire to fight for more cattle.
As food and water resources drain and more people are desperately starving, it is projected that people will be fighting over these resources. This will make world peace even more difficult to create.


We’ve got a little bit of time left. That’s why we’re doing what we’re doing and taking the time to educate people.  Act on what you understand.  Potentially, it is a wonderful time for the planet. The life threatening chaos that we’re in helps us wake up and change our ways.  It’s good if we actually act on it.  It’s good because it’s forcing us to actually talk about the temporal reality instead of illusion.  It’s good that we can actually share these things.
And we can urge our politicians to act on what they kind of know in truth in their hearts. To tell you the truth, Al Gore does know this, he’s not stupid.  Someone who had a direct interview with him said that yes, he does know this, but he didn’t want to go against the meat and dairy industry. That’s a summary of what he said privately.

We kind of look at this and say, yeah, they do know, but people are not sharing what they know. There was an hour-long show on global warming on the politically savvy KPFA and it was all carbon dioxide.  No one even mentioned animal agriculture. How is it that the grandfather of global warming, Dr. James Hansen, has explicitly said that animal agriculture is the main cause. And no one’s responding? What is going on? That is why we’re talking about it.  Hopefully that will get out there and onto the planet, in more and more ways, as people here share and as more people in the Culture of Life begin to share and speak on this issue.

So our role in the Culture of Life is to shift the consciousness toward life, love, compassion, and our fundamental interconnectedness as the core of our existence and the consequent deep soul connection and love of  human, animal, and plant life on the planet, as well as the planet itself.

The deeper reality is that “The earth is the Lord’s and all it holds, the world and its inhabitants. -Psalm 24:1” and within
that, we humans are one soul with the animal and plant kingdom and the living planet. We have no right to take the life of any animal for our personal food lusts or rape and pollute the planet for our personal greed issues. We neither own the planet or the humans or animals on the planet. The shift from the predatory culture of death lifestyle where all humans, animals, plants and the living planet itself are seen as economic units to exploit, to the life-affirming Culture of  Life is the shift which will put us back into harmony with the living planet and all its creatures. This life affirming shift for all the inhabitants on the living planet takes us back to:  Genesis 1:29  God said very clearly “I have given you every seed bearing herb which is upon the face of the earth and every tree on which there is a fruit yielding seed. For you it shall be for food.” The solutions there were given 3,400 years ago and we don’t want to even listen. We don’t want to pay attention to what was already prescribed for us.

And some of the teachings, which include the coming of the messianic times is preceded by more and more people going vegan.  Because through a plant-based cuisine we will have corrected many of the major imbalances happening on the planet.
This is very good if we listen.  So may we all be blessed that not only do we listen, but the politicians around the world begin to listen and make decisions that have to do with the overt survival of the planet, the healing and feeding of the poor, the prevention of death on the planet, the building of health on the planet, the prevention of cruelty on the planet, the creating of peace on the planet, and the protection of the ecology on the planet.

That’s the big picture. Global warming/weather instability is part of that big picture. As we expand to a little bigger vision, we begin to see that what we eat literally affects who lives and dies on the planet, literally affects the survival of the planet, and literally affects the health of the people on the planet and their consciousness. We have choices. The choices begin with us and what we put in our mouth.  It really doesn’t depend on the politicians.

If everyone decides to go vegan then the global warming game is over. We have the power.  It would be nice if the politicians decided to help out a little bit and made the appropriate governmental adjustments to this, but we have the power to do it without them. The question is, are we willing to go out of our comfort zone?
May we all be blessed to be willing to go out of our comfort zones to heal ourselves and to heal the planet.  Blessings to your children and your grandchildren's health and the health of all creatures, and the health of the planet. Amen.

Rabbi Gabriel Cousens M.D

Navnirman Nyas- Organic farm outside Pune

The day before yesterday I was able to visit another organic farm 2 hours outside of Pune.  Located in a small village of Pargaon.  After a bit of a stretch of a long twisted dirt road, and a couple of hold ups due to sugar cane loadings, we made it!

We were greeted by a wonderful staff, and the owner of the farm, Vasudha Sardar.  A wonderful vibrant lady dedicated to nutritious foods and healthy soils.  Her operation has been running for about 4 years, but the farm has been in her family for most likely generations.  She sells her organic produce to Pune, 5 days a week, here is a link to the website,

She is also very keen on having more visitors, a group of 10 or so people she would be very happy to show them the farm and her operations.  

From what I saw it looked like she had about 20 cows.  She had native breeds as well as water buffalo's.  Each cow had a name, and I had the chance to see what they fed them, on the days that the rain inundated their fields, they were being fed bright green chopped up leafy vegetables along with some other cut veggies! The cows absolutely loved this stuff, I don't blame them!  I was happy to see them getting such wonderful fresh stuff to eat.  

She used both their urine and feces in different mixtures along with a few ground pulses as well as jaggery.  These mixtures would then go to support the organic operations.  

Her fields had a nice variety of plant species.  No monocultures from what I could see.  She mixed chikoo trees with squashes, marigolds and other vegetables.  She also sells banana, guava and papaya.  I had the opportunity to taste one of her papaya's and it was absolutely fabulous!  From the outside, it didn't look like a typical papaya which we are used to picking out from the fruit wala's.  The papaya I ate was actually green, yet inside it was perfectly ripe, I even saved the seeds.. maybe I can plant something with them??  

We bought as much produce as we had spare bags in our cars, she also gifted us an entire bowl of fresh corn!  Amazing corn!  It was so juicy and flavorful.  Once you go organic, it's difficult to turn back.  The quality is readily felt in the taste!  

Thursday, October 18, 2012


First off, I apologize for my delay in putting up pictures for Gorukana, for some reason my camera and my computer weren't syncing properly and now somehow I've misplaced my camera batteries.

I have been spending some time visiting organic farms in the Pune area.

The day before yesterday I had the opportunity to visit Gomukh, a sustainable farming operation about 2 hours from Pune.  It is near Chinmaya Vibhooti.  They deliver to Pune, and are working on having a store outlet in Pune.  Which personally I am very excited for, because as it is the only place I have found organic fresh vegetables and sometimes fruits is in Dorabjees, which is a bit of a stretch from where I live, Magarpatta City.

And in their outlet they will not be using plastic!  Which is awesome!

The farm is beautiful, unfortunately this time I didn't take pictures, but I've offered to help volunteer next week there, so by that time hopefully I will have found my camera batteries!  :)

They are located on a hillside, and have about 8 acres.  They grow a variety of vegetables, and I was impressed to see them using the forest/jungle ecosystem to their advantage.  Beneath the jungle canopy they were experimenting with coffee beans as a ground cover and passion fruit as the vertical layer- a climbing vine, which doesn't damage the tree as it grows, it lives symbiotically with the tree which supports it!

There were also local high school kids working on the farm when I got there.  They had come from an international school nearby, and in exchange for working on the farm either they were awarded with scholarships or became eligible for scholarships.  It's definitely a wonderful thing to see our youth, learning sustainable technologies and systems at such a young age!

Gomukh also works with many of the farmers in the area, teaching them about organic production and giving them seeds to work with.  Because of the farmers taking of these practices, Gomukh is able to provide organic food to ~220 families.  My family being one of them!  Their produce is awesome :)

They have a greywater filtration system, basically a garden with plants which are very capable of filtering the water back to clean form.  They have also created a pond which helps maintain water on site throughout the dry season for their production as well as surrounding animals.

They have left much of their land in it's natural state, this is a very important aspect of farming!  It allows nature to be, and in so doing also allows nature to let whatever you are doing be!  The owner, Ashwin Paranje and his wife Judit, were saying that their are many animals in the forest, even monkeys, but none of them really bother with their crops because there is more than enough food for them in the jungle itself.

Energy efficiency is also another integral part of their work, they have a few solar panels and they are actively looking into more renewable technologies to reduce their dependency on oil.