Eco Newsletter, June 2022, Issue 5

Making Food Choices for the Planet



I grew up in an iron ore mining town in northern Canada. I grew up knowing that food was purchased at the grocery store. I then worked in community development in Canada, Africa and Asia and learned food actually comes from the land. From the land, and the farmers and harvesters, transporters, processors, wholesalers, retailers and all the others involved in the food system. To enjoy food there is also a chain of cooking, eating and disposing of waste. And, when we think about it, there is a huge global, industrial system of food production and consumption based on geo-political relationships, energy consumption, using chemical fertilisers, pesticides and preservatives, financial subsidies, corporate profits, seed patents, land ownership … and as much as 35% of production goes to waste! Food is a complicated issue! 

It is valuable to be aware of the complicated system and how it functions. However, the drama of the entire system can get overwhelming. How can we grasp this whole drama and at the same time make choices that will make a difference? 

Simply being mindful of our food choices can make us physically healthier, emotionally stronger, and immune to negative influences. Being conscious consumers, and learning how our food gets to our plate, may alter the way we live – e.g., by shopping locally and choosing seasonal, locally produced fresh food. Being informed of the impact food systems have on the Earth, on producers, on the inhabitants of regions far from where we live, and on the quality of life for everyone can help guide our choices. 

Our current food system is global. The system is not sustainable and is the cause of hunger, suffering and environmental degradation. A simpler, more holistic, and non-violent approach to food systems that work in harmony with land, water and energy can be effective. We can be more caring in our relationship with the environment – the source of our food – and give more importance to the sacredness of food and the ageless practices of regular thanksgiving. 

As we make choices about the food we eat, we can ensure our thoughts, words and actions are towards a more environmentally friendly and equitable food system. Our conscious awareness will positively impact the entire system.

In this edition of the newsletter, we are introduced to the Brahma Kumaris food care initiative which aims to help people learn more about food systems. There is an enthusiastic interview with Dr. Tamsin Ramsay about choosing a vegan lifestyle. I share in an interview my learning from Indigenous Peoples about the values needed to restore our sacred relationship with food. 

Towards the end of the newsletter there is a wonderful recipe for a vegan omelette and a link to other delicious recipes. And, as always, there is a link to a beautiful meditation commentary. Take the time to listen.

Enjoy the food you are blessed with in the coming days and months. Show your gratitude to the land and all those who helped bring the food to your table. Consciously choose what food you want to make part of your life and become a master of your food not a victim of food and the food system. 

David Fletcher is a Food Justice Educator and Activist and a student of the Brahma Kumaris in Canada.


Changing the world … on our plate:  The BK Food Care Initiative


This Initiative aims to help people learn more about food systems and their importance and  was created in order to contribute ideas to the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), held in New York in  September 2021. The Summit  aimed to accelerate mindset change to catalyse a transformation in the world’s food systems.  It was wide ranging,  as through  independent dialogues, it  brought together insights  not only from governments,  but from individuals  in many walks of life, including   youth,  Indigenous Peoples and farmers to name a few.

Food systems have such a profound impact on the  environment that  if we wish to build economies and societies that are more equitable, resilient, and greener, getting them  right is essential.

Watch a short introductory video about the initiative here

To watch Food Care - Shifting Awareness to Energise Food systems, an event that launched the initiative, featuring Sister Jayanti click here.

To access a tool kit that has been produced to help you in your own learning and exploration of food systems click here


Veganuary is a non-profit organisation that encourages people worldwide to go vegan for the month of January and beyond. During the 2022 campaign, more than 620,000 people took a  pledge to try a vegan diet, while more than 1,540 new vegan products and menu options were launched in their key campaign countries. Throughout the year, Veganuary encourages and supports people and businesses alike to move to a plant-based diet as a way of protecting the environment, preventing animal suffering and improving the health of millions of people.

In this interview to mark Veganuary, Dr Tamasin Ramsay talks about her journey into veganism and why it's important for her.  Tamasin, who has studied meditation with the Brahma Kumaris since 1984, is a strong advocate of veganism  and animal rights. Her engagement includes running for a seat with the Animal Justice Party in Victoria’s 2018 State Election and helping to produce an illuminating documentary exposing the dark underbelly of modern animal agriculture in Australia. 

Listen to the interview with Tamasin here

Growing our Values: Restoring our Relationship with the Soil

In the second part of our interview with David Fletcher, he talks about the values that are needed in order to restore our sacred relationship with food and the soil it’s grown in. (The first part of the interview can be found here)  David Fletcher is a Food Justice Educator and Activist.  He has had the opportunity to work with and learn from indigenous people in Africa, Asia and North America on environmental, climate change, well-being and food security issues.   Read the interview here

Q What did you observe about the underlying values that the Dagara people bring into the process of food production and consumption.  What can we learn from them?

What I have learned from the Dagara people in Ghana is that when you are producing food, it is not a competitive business with your neighbour, it is a co-operative way of life with your family and other families in your area.  Those kinship ties between people, expressed through cooperation, are a really important part of your life.  This unity and togetherness is essential for people to live their lives in happiness, therefore the food we produce needs to be done with co-operation.  They use the term ‘nolang’ which stresses the importance of unity and togetherness.  So the food you produce is not just for yourself.  You eat food communally; it is a social endeavour; it’s part of your culture and it gives a special sense of belonging because of the special kinds of food you eat from your area that are made with your mother’s or grandmother’s secret recipe.  It’s this whole nature of sharing and the social context of food is an important value.  

Then compassion is another value linked to food.  If you see someone is hungry then you share your food with them, it’s not this sense of “This is mine and I need to hang onto it or tomorrow I’ll sell it in the market.“  If you have been blessed by the Divine with having food then it's your responsibility, your obligation to share that with others.  So co-operation, sharing and compassion are so important but also what is really essential is this sense of gratitude.  

We always need to be grateful to the land, to the water, to the air and recognise that we have a reciprocal relationship with  the elements.  This means we need to celebrate when we have a harvest and have ceremonies when we are planting and putting things in the ground to grow.  It’s not worship, it is a sacred relationship built on an understanding that it’s from the fertility of the soil and the purity of the water that  the seeds are going to grow. We need to respect and honour that relationship.  So that sense of gratitude is so important at every step of the process.  

Faith and trust is also something that the Dagara farmers talk about so much.  If your livelihood and the well-being of yourself and your family, children and grandchildren and your community is based on this seed that you are going to put in the ground.  You need to have that faith that the seed is going to grow. In Dagara language, the word for hope and rejoice are the same,  so as farmers when you plant the seed in the ground you are not only hopeful but you are also rejoicing because you feel you are going to receive the benefits or the blessings of that seed.  We were put on this Earth in order to survive and thrive by tending the earth so they have that faith and trust in that relationship. 

A lot of my research was around resilience and the word for resilience is ‘kanyir’ which means that combination of patience and courage.  Also that sense of sacredness and reverence to honour the land, the water and to honour the metaphysical energies that we might not understand that help things to grow.  These are very important to the Dagara people and many others that I’ve interacted with including the indigenous Mi’kmaw people in Canada who are land and water protectors because they have that reverence for where all our food and sustenance ultimately come from.  They have a sense that we need to be careful in every thought, word or action, because our energy will either help those seeds to germinate and grow or they will not.  If we disrespect the land, throw industrial garbage into the land or have parties and disturb the land where we are supposed to be growing our sustenance then we are not going to have the abundant harvest that we would get if we had showed that true gratitude and sacredness for the land.  

So gratitude, faith, courage, patience, reverence – all those are values that the Dagara people talk about because it is still at the forefront of their mind in terms of the relationship with the land.  

  1. How can we apply these kinds of values to growing things in our backyard or garden?

For me the first thing to think about is how do we want to work with nature and not control the nature in our garden, box of herbs or whatever outside space we have. Then it is about developing a relationship with nature in a different way. It is about having faith in the seeds we plant and having the patience to see them grow. Patience is a very important value that most farming people would share. 

We need to honour the natural cycles, sometimes it might not grow when you thought it would or it might not come up at all. You keep trying, it's about developing that relationship and valuing the quality and taste of the sustenance that you grow for yourself. It may be only a few potatoes for a couple of meals but I'm going to honour that relationship and use it to reconnect with the body that I have and the soul I am. And while you are doing it, you learn about the bigger systems, how they work and then you make your choices not just in terms of what you grow but where you get your other food sources.   Finding out where your food is coming from and making choices to eat these fruits when they are in season, rather than going to the store and buying some other fruit from halfway around the world, which is probably so full of chemicals and preservatives that it is not going to taste like what you imagined anyway. By those kinds of choices, I learn what kind of relationship I have with the soil and the seeds. 

Then we always talk about backyard gardens, and sometimes that is the only place where we have a little bit of soil to grow something. But I've seen so many places where they have a front garden, it is very finely mowed, beautiful grass and flowers along the walkway and then way in the back they have the garden. There could be all kinds of reasons for that, but why don't we have a front vegetable garden? It can be a beautiful space where we grow things and when our neighbours walk by we can say, “Here have some lettuce for your salad today!”. You can grow daylilies which are beautiful flowers which you can also eat in your salads. It starts to change the relationship we have with food and where it comes from.  Let's have front yard gardens where we can get our hands dirty and show other people that's a choice we have made in our life and that can have multiple influences on other people as well.

Cooking for the Planet

Try this delicious recipe: a high protein, fluffy, low carb vegan omelette.  It’s eggless and dairy free! 


115gms firm tofu

¾ cup plant milk

¼ cup almond flour

½ tsp psyllium husk

1/8 tsp turmeric

1/8 tsp black salt

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup of spinach

¼ cup cabbage

2 tsp dill


  1. Chop veggies and set aside.
  2. In a blender jar, put in the tofu, plant milk, almond flour, salt, pepper, turmeric, black salt, and chilli powder. Blend until well combined and the mixture forms a paste.
  3. Add psyllium husk powder and give it one more mix.
  4. Heat a skillet or frying pan, pour in a couple of teaspoons of oil, and then the paste. Cook for a minute, then add the chopped veggies and let it cook for another minute.
  5. Gently drag and fold till your desired ‘doneness’ is achieved.
  6. Fold one edge over the other and slide it off the pan.

Makes 1 big omelette.

To watch the video, click here 

For more vegan and vegetarian recipes click here.


Relax and enjoy harmonising with all the elements of nature in this meditation commentary which can be found on our eco website along with many other videos.

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