A last-minute idea of a potluck snowballed into an event that pushed the limits of awareness of inhumane dairy processes and encouraged mindful eating.

“We don’t need milk” Dr Rupa Shah

“Milk essentially is for infants for their initial development. As children and adults, we do not require milk at all. Also, we must be aware that buffaloes and cows are injected with steroids or petocin that is for about Rs 20-25, administered daily to increase the produce of milk. However, the cows experience false labour pains and go through a lot discomfort and are put through inhumane conditions just so that we get our daily supply of milk in the mornings”, pointed out Dr Rupa Shah at a potluck event at Dulari Shah’s residence in Andheri (W) on 14 June 2014.

“Unfortunately, animal abuse does not end there. New born calves are separated from their mothers at a very early age and are not given their share of mother’s milk, which is crucial for them” she continued to a rapt audience of 20+ people who has gathered from across Mumbai to attend the event.

The holistic healer and flower remedy specialist, outlined the manufacturing process of how milk is supplied daily to consumers, including the shocking level of abuse to animals at every stage. She narrated how Indian traditions had deteriorated in the last 50 years that underscored growing necessity for us to not continue to be ignorant of our roles as consumers. People claim ignorance and are in denial about the atrocities inflicted on the animals, but if they consume it, they play the key role, was her hard-hitting message to the listeners who were a mix of vegans and non-vegans alike.

“I lost 10 kilos very quickly”

The core event was a healthy food potluck that was dairy-free and essentially sugar-free. As the monsoon winds gushed through the dusty leaves, they even brought with them surprise entrants who has cancelled their trips to join forces with Dr Rupa Shah. As participants brought the own hot meals from home, exotic and delicious aromas wafted across the hall that helped break the ice among those who were first-timers.

Dr Rupa Shah introduced Avinash to everybody. He spoke about his experience in a couple of healthy food programmes where he was on an intensive regiment that improved his health parameters within 21 days. He described how he immediately transitioned to a green juice/smoothie diet post the programme, while gyming regularly simultaneously, that resulted inhim losing 10+ kilos smoothly. Another testimonial that made the rounds was that of Vrinda Kamat, a diabetic who is off insulin post following a dairy-free diet.

 The Potluck

Everybody gathered eagerly around the table and curiously scanned the crowded albeit mouth-watering spread of over 22 items on the table. Each dish competed with each other and it was tough to taste them all in one go—from non-dairy creamy cheesy dips to vegetable soup, beetroot laddus bursting scarlet in radiance to baked pau-vadas that looked like UFOs on your plate, and a spread of salads to baked vegetable with secret ingredients, all were rendered speechless with the spread.

Each person talked about the dish they had brought to the table, the recipe and briefly described the process while some took efforts to make notes of the same. Recipes, ideas and new kitchen techniques were discussed and exchanged.

The event was a great confluence of kitchen cultures focused around the core principles of healthy cooking.