The 30th Annual Toronto Veg Food Fest!
A beautiful weekend in Toronto was a perfect backdrop for the 30th Annual VegFoodFest!
The vegetarian festival is a very popular event in Toronto with over 40,000 people attending last year. It features local businesses, bakeries and restaurants as well as organizations for the protection of farm animals and animal sanctuaries. And there’s lots of food!
Did you know? One of the first recorded historical figures who was a vegetarian was Leonardo da Vinci in the 15th century. Plant-based diets have in fact existed since Antiquity…if not longer. In the Middle Ages, the word vegetarian didn’t exist but the vegetarians of the time followed a Pythagorean diet.
Me and my boyfriend walked down to the lake shore in Toronto, where the festival took place. Here are some of the stalls we visited:
Front Door Organics: This stall features a fresh local delivery service. For as little as $30, they ship you a basket filled with fresh local veggies and fruits that are certified organic. For an additional cost, you can get organic cereal, bread, meat and dairy. They ship all around the GTA.
As you can see below, there were several examples of boxes they deliver throughout the year.
Vegetarian and Vegan Mock-Meat dishes: This stall features mock meat from chicken, beef and fish products. Today, they were sampling the fishless filet with egg-free tartar sauce. Did you know: in order to sell a meat substitute meal (i.e. sausage, burgers, etc.) the nutritional information has to match the real meat counterpart products on the shelf. This means that they have to fortify the products with vitamins, nutrients, etc. to bring the nutritional value up to the same level as real meat products.
Buchie and Sash: This company produces dairy free “cream cheese” made from soaked cashews! They have three flavours: herb and garlic, spicy chilli pepper and dill and they tasted just like cream cheese. Delicious!
Nibbling on mock-meat veggie skewers from Kings Cafe. It looks like meat…but it isn’t!
…and snacking on some Tofurky! Don’t take my perplexed look to indicate that it wasn’t good!
Tori’s Bakeshop: There were a lot of baked goods at the VegFest to snack on to satisfy a vegan and gluten free sweet tooth!
Toronto Pig Save: An organization devoted to raising awareness of factory conditions at local slaughterhouses in Toronto, slaughtering up to 6,000 pigs daily! And did you know that pigs raised in Canada are usually transported to the US for slaughter? The journey can take up to 40 hours without food, water and in cramped conditions. I fully support Toronto Pig Save, but I believe that there are small local farms in Ontario that raise pigs humanely where we can get our pork. But I also believe that we must limit our meat intake since large scale production of humanely raise pork is not possible.
Giddy Yoyo Chocolate: This company produces high quality fair-trade organic chocolate sourced from Ecuador. They don’t roast the cocoa beans so their chocolate is not bitter-tasting. You can also order it online!
Fresh coconut water at the VegFoodFest! Yummy!
Yam Chops: Get this: there is a vegetarian butcher shop in Toronto which specialises in different preparations of tofu, seitan and tempeh with mock meat preparations that you can integrate into dinner or prepared foods that you can just heat up.
For those who have been paying attention to Toronto’s highly publicized “mayor problems”, you would know that Rob Ford is no vegetarian. That’s what makes his support of the Vegetarian Food Fest a bit “weird” to say the least.
After the VegFoodFest, we were missing some fresh produce. So we headed to Phil’s Place at the St. Lawrence Market to stock-up.
Dineen Coffee Co.: We got a quick beverage at the Dineen Coffee Co, a European-inspired cafe located on Yonge St.
And what better than to end the day with dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant. Lentils, split peas, veggies and injera bread to eat it all with and some beef stew to complement it perfectly (I may have been slightly swayed by my boyfriend to order the meat part of the dish…but it was good).
Have a great week!