Lesh Karan

Lesh KaranLesh Karan is a freelance writer who specialises in health (food & wellness), medical and corporate communications. She blogs at The Mindful Foodie and “shares recipes that take into account many food intolerances and information about eating mindfully”.

Describe your dish
pomegranate saladThis is a warm salad I made using quinoa, amaranth, rocket, roasted pumpkin and walnuts. I made a spiced yoghurt dressing to go with it too. And I sprinkled some pomegranate seeds on top.

How does your dish portray your relationship with food?
I call any dish that respects my health, the planet and animals ‘mindful food’.

I like to cook mainly vegetarian meals, and mostly eat produce that has been grown locally (i.e. in Australia, but mainly Victoria, where I live). It’s also important that the food I buy is not sprayed with pesticides. I find the best way to get these sorts of ingredients is to shop at farmers’ markets or to grow my own. In my dish, the pumpkin and walnuts are from a farmers’ market, the rocket from my garden, and the pomegranate, amaranth and quinoa from an independent organic store. The yoghurt in the dressing is a goats yogurt made by a farmer who treats her animals with respect and care.

What inspired your food behaviour?
I spent my early childhood in Fiji, where I ate juicy mangoes freshly picked from our tree, and guavas from our neighbour’s tree. Yum! And I grew up in a home where there was always a home-cooked meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My mum made everything from scratch, including things we rely on the shops for nowadays – like rotis, coconut milk, chutneys, Indian pickles and sweets. No doubt, this has had a huge influence on my food behaviour.

Besides my background, I can pinpoint two other food defining moments. The first has to do with my health. Being diagnosed with two immune-related conditions – endometriosis and an eye condition called uveitis – made me realise I really needed to take extra care of my immune health. So I cut a lot of processed foods and wheat from my diet. The second revelation was when I found out about bobby calves in January this year, which also lead me to find out about factory farms. Now, I do my best to avoid products that abuse animal welfare.

What do you wish for the future of food?
It’s the same wish as anyone who is a true crusader of real food! I wish we would take more responsibility for what we eat – what I mean buy this is that we need to learn how to cook from scratch again, buy mostly fresh wholefoods (preferably from farmers’ markets), and read the ingredients list when we do buy packaged foods (the less ingredients the better).

We also need to make a real effort to find out how our food is produced and to know where it comes from. By asking our food producers detailed questions, we can slowly shift how they produce food for us – particularly if we make a decision not buy based on their practices. After all, it’s better we take responsibility for what we eat instead of allowing corporations to make that decision, don’t you think?

Blog: themindfulfoodie.com
Twitter: @mindfulfoodie
Facebook: The Mindful Foodie

If you’d like to tell your food story, hit me up @flavourcrusader or email me at info AT flavourcrusader DOT com

11 Responses to Lesh Karan

  1. Sharon says:

    Heh! Thanks for this Lesh, beautifully written. Woah… chutneys and pickles… been thinking about making some.

    1. I need to learn how to make the pickles from my mum. She makes really wicked Indian-style ones. Hmmm must get around to that soon!

  2. kathryn says:

    I love Lesh’s blog, so it was good to read more. And such a lovely meal you’ve put together.

    1. Thanks for your lovely comments, Kathryn! I love your blog too – you always provide useful information in an engaging ‘voice’.

  3. […] people find out about my eating philosophy one of the first questions they ask is, “where do you buy your food?” When I tell them where, […]

  4. maggie egger says:

    Hi – I really liked your article on Turmeric. The more I hear about it the more convinced I am of the power of nutrients as a means to heal ourselves without pharmaceuticals. I think we are on the cusp of an explosion of new information concerning micro-nutrients and the role they can play in our health. My son has acid reflux and must take medicine to control it but now I am going to try a regime of Turmeric to see if this will alleviate the symptoms.
    One point of contention I feel compelled to point out about one of your links is in relation to the killing of the calves within a few weeks of birth which in turn ensures milk production from the cow. I can understand your concern about the new law being considered but I feel that this move showing a cute little cow without the facts behind farming (and this includes small scale farming) does not look at the issue in a fair and balanced way. As well my first thoughts turn to the mistreatment of children and the attitudes concerning abortions. If only people would show the same concern for children as they do about the treatment of animals perhaps the concern expressed about abortions would no longer be considered extreme. Children come before animals and really isn’t what this whole movement toward healthy living and eating is for.

    1. Hi Maggie, thank you for taking the time to read my articles and for your heart-felt comments. I’m glad you liked the turmeric article. And I’m sorry if I offended you (or anyone) with my bobby calf article. No where in my article do I say, though, that the health of animals should come before children (or even humans). My point is simply this: if we are to eat animal-based products for our well-being (which I’m not against), is that the animals be treated with care and allow them to ‘be animals’ in their natural environment while they’re alive. There are more and more (small-scale) producers that are becoming more aware of this, and have animal welfare at there utmost concern. And I listed a few ethical small-scale dairy suppliers on my site too. It’s thanks to them that I feel comfortable consuming animal-based products. If more and more people supported these producers, then larger-scale, corporate organisations would have to change there practices in the long-term – which is not only better for the animals but also for humans.
      Thanks again for expressing your concern and I hope what I’ve said further explains where I’m coming from.

      Wishing you (and you son) all the best in health and happiness,

  5. […] Lesh on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 · 12 Comments   When people find out about my eating philosophy one of the first questions they ask is, “where do you buy your food?” When I tell them where, […]

  6. […] people find out about my eating philosophy one of the first questions they ask is, “where do you buy your food?” When I tell them where, […]

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