In the spring of each year the largest vegetarian food festival in the country, Vegfest, is held at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. Vegfest is a wonderful opportunity to:
- taste from over 500 different kinds of delicious free food samples
- see cooking demonstrations by chefs and cookbook authors
- hear the latest information on nutrition and health from our MDs
- get free health checks, including cholesterol, glucose, and even artery scans
- watch a puppet show given by clowns
- choose from a huge selection of books
This year's Vegfest includes all kinds of new food to sample. Some of the new ones that caught our eyes are new local brands, Cinnaholic, unique snack foods from Pan's Mushroom Jerky, and special cakes from Black Magic Kitchen. Where would we all be without chocolate? New to Vegfest this year is the unforgettable Zazubean chocolate. Try some Indian-Mex fusion with Khalsa Salsa. You'll also find new local restaurants at Vegfest for the very first time. Look for popular local favorites like Field Roast and for those who like the exotic, why not give Brew Dr. Kombucha a try?
Indian, Mexican, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Chinese - Vegfest has it all!
Throughout the weekend, cutting-edge chefs and cookbook authors from around the country will be demonstrating just how easy it is to make your own gourmet vegetarian dishes at home. Special chefs this year include:
- Ramses Bravo, executive chef for TrueNorth Health Center in California, with cookbooks Bravo, Health Promoting Meals from the TrueNorth Health Kitchen, and his latest book, Bravo Express.
- Ellen Jaffe Jones, author of Eat Vegan on $4 a Day, Vegan Sex, and her latest book Vegan Cooking for One.
- Michelle Schwegmann, author of Eat Like You Give a Damn!
Come and listen to doctors give latest health information. You'll find several specialties represented including cardiology, Ob/Gyn, oncology, and internal medicine, all talking about the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. More doctors than ever before will also be on hand to do health checks, with free blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose tests, bone scans and artery scans, giving people the opportunity to discover just how much a vegetarian diet can help improve their health.
A huge selection of cookbooks are available at the Vegfest bookstore, and the kids will enjoy the puppet shows and interacting with clown duo, Zero and Somebuddy.
There are so many reasons people go to Vegfest. Many people have heard from their doctor just how much healthier vegetarian food is. From lowering the risk of heart disease, cancer, and type II diabetes, to reducing the pain from rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia, people are discovering just how much a vegetarian diet can help.
Other people want to help farm animals, which are raised in overcrowded conditions on today's factory farms, living under harsh condition before being slaughtered. Even fish are now known to suffer greatly when they're caught, or raised in fish farms. By giving up the consumption of animal products, we can save the lives of many animals' lives.
The environmental benefits of a vegetarian diet are also on many people's minds. Whether it's burning down the rainforest to raise cattle, or the increased greenhouse gas emission from the fuel consumed to raise farm animals and from the animals themselves, people are discovering that eating lower on the food chain greatly reduces the impact of our food choices on the environment.
By coming to Vegfest, many people who have already started to dip their toes can confidently take the plunge by discovering products such as meat-free sausages, or dairy-free cheddar or brie, foods that makes improving their diet so much easier and fun. You don't have to be a vegetarian to enjoy Vegfest! Every year thousands of "veg-curious" just want to nibble around the event and see what it's all about.
This year, Vegfest is on Saturday and Sunday, March 30-31, at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall on Mercer Street. Admission is only $12, and kids 12 and under are free. Tickets are available at the door. For more information visit www.SeattleVegfest.org or call 206-706-2635.