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Event Review: The NY Vegetarian Food Festival

The New York Vegetarian Food Festival was a mob scene that took place near Union Square on Sunday, April 3, 2011. As press, I was allowed in early--a good thing, because thirty minutes after opening to the public (tickets were free), it was nearly impossible to even walk down one of the aisles.

Vegetarian sushi...very nutty. Not bad, but not necessary.
I'm a huge fan of eating vegetarian, but not necessarily vegetarian-made foods. See, foods that are vegetarian are made by normal people, but as soon as you step into a vegetarian-only or vegan-only restaurant, I tend to get a bit scared. Things change, everyone goes healthy on you, etc. Don't get me wrong; I believe vegetarians and locavores usually do a lot less damage to the world, but organic, vegan-crazed stoners have been known to scare me. That said, the organizers did a very nice job inviting a variety of sponsors and representatives to the show.

Teese (a vegan cheese alternative) and other such cutesy products were actually not bad, while some (Mary's Crackers, need I see you again?) had me wondering how vegans survive.

Those in attendence were a mix of normals, meat-eaters, vegetarians, vegans, stoners, and eco-organic-good-for-the-Earth ambassadors. Besides free samples, there were several activities for kids, animal rights groups, talks, and other mini-events going on.

Overall, I'm just not sure of my feelings for the event. Yes, it was well done, but I believe there are such better vegetarian foods out there. Vegetarian and vegan dishes can be amazing, but a lot of the companies seemed to promote the very stereotype I should think they'd be wanting to stay away from: chalky tastes, textures that leave something to be desired, and unsastisfying end products. Even Honest Tea's new cocoa drink (CocoaNova) was just so bland. Then again, I think that of all their products. Watered-down cocoa, yes sir.

Will I go next year? Who knows? At the very least, they'll need a bigger venue (the lines were blocks/avenues long). Really, I'd just love to see vegetarian and vegan food companies that weren't trying so hard.

Bao's raw slaw were fresh all right. I think my insides were burning and didn't know how to digest the stuff. Just a warning.

Reader Comments (1)

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July 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel A. Wood

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