When asked, “Why do attend a Festival?” Often than not, people answer, “the food!”
Trying local organic vegan and vegetarian faire that is easy on the wallet, healthy, delicious and good for the soul is one of the best memories you can take home from a festival.
While offering many well-known favorites such as the ever-famous falafel, vegan corn dog and garlic fries, Green Festival explores a variety of cultural approaches to flavor and nutrition that incorporate flavors from nations around the world. The fun exists in trying the best new local restaurants and exploring the possibilities in organic, vegan, vegetarian and raw snacks and meals – all while discovering the fun of growing and creating your own food! What are your favorite organic vegan and vegetarian dishes?
Urban Organic Gardener Mike Lieberman once said, “For me, buying organic isn’t a splurge. Buying organic is part of my healthcare.”
According to the Organic Consumers Association, organic food is on average, 25% more nutritious than food products from industrial agriculture, containing a higher level of vitamins, antioxidants and essential minerals. Organic foods are created without the use of pesticides and are not genetically modified. They do not contain additives, preservatives or chemical contaminants. Ideally organic practices aim to maximize sustainable farming methods and utilize resources most efficiently with the highest level of reuse and conservation. (To find out more about organics, visit the Organic Consumers Association).
Lydia of Lydia’s Lovin Foods (a Green Festival food favorite) says: “In order to care for the world, each other and all life forms, there is no other choice than organic. Organic practices support life.”
Nutritionally, local organic vegetarian cuisine is fantastic, delicious and leaves attendees feeling energized and focused to shop and learn in the healthiest of ways.
According to the North American Vegetarian Society, “although illness and disease can be caused by many factors, several health problems have been positively linked to a diet high in animal products. Among these are cardiovascular diseases including heart attack and stroke (which are the leading causes of death for both men and women in the United States), diabetes, and certain cancers.” (See NAVS Vegetarian FAQ).
In environmental terms, the land required for raising, the crops required for feeding, the water required for hydrating and the fossil fuels for producing and distributing animal products do not add up to a positive reciprocal benefit for mankind.
In choosing instead to explore the benefits of vegetarian dining, Lydia summarizes it all in describing her tasty faire: “I do not need to claim a life in order for me to live. Raising animals for ourselves is unnecessary, destroys so much land and drains our precious watershed.”
Beyond the path of a vegetarian, embracing a vegan lifestyle takes further steps, resolving not to use any animal product for food, clothing or any other purpose.
According to the Vegan Society, “A balanced vegan diet (also referred to as a ‘plant-based diet’) meets many current healthy eating recommendations such as eating more fruit, vegetables and whole grains and consuming less cholesterol and saturated fat. Balanced vegan diets are often rich in vitamins, antioxidants and fiber, and can decrease the chances of suffering from diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers.” (See Why Vegan?) The biggest question surrounding moving to a vegan diet is how to achieve variety while also obtaining all required daily nutrients. Green Festival attendees are pleasantly surprised at every festival to find a multitude of snacks, meals and cooking ideas that have been adapted to fit a vegan diet.
In environmental terms, according to PETA, “raising animals for food requires about as much water as all other water uses combined, even as many areas are experiencing drought conditions. It requires about 300 gallons of water to feed a vegan for a day. It requires about four times as much water to feed a vegetarian and 14 times as much to feed a meat-eater.”
In 2010, a report from the United Nations Environment Programme’s international panel of sustainable resource management stated that “a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change” (see June 2, 2010 – The Guardian).