Last weekend, James and I, a couple friends, and thousands of others, made our way down to the Vancouver Veg Expo. Apparently last year there were over 11,000 attendees, and this year there were supposed to be even more. The event was made up of vendors, from local to international, selling everything from vegan cheeses to Tesla’s. There was also a stage area for cooking demonstrations, lectures on plant-based health, and even a vegan body building demo.
In this post, I’ll be sharing our haul from Veg Fest. We bought a lot of stuff, but believe me, there was so much more we wanted to buy. Like kids in a candy store – Vegans at Veg Expo, haha. It was a really fun time, and it was so great to get to know so many like-minded local companies. One of the highlights for me was the Vegan Supply store. They are opening up a brick and mortar store in Gastown in a mere two weeks! This is the booth where James and I did the bulk of our spending. Another highlight was from the company Gusta Foods, out of Québec. They sell vegan cheese and vegan sausages that were maybe the best I have ever had!
My only concern and criticism about the event is regarding waste. Almost every booth was handing out samples – which is amazing since we were able to try SO many delicious foods and drinks. However, most of these samples came in tiny plastic or paper cups. Yet I didn’t see any recycling bins, there were just little garbage cans beside each booth. Now I’m hoping that just because the waste was going into garbage cans, perhaps the waste was being sorted into recycling after the event. This is a pretty major concern for me, especially considering what type of event this is. Large events or festivals produce so much waste and it makes me sad that a convention hall full of health-conscious and environmentally-conscious people have needlessly contributed to the landfills (myself included). Now, I realize as I’m writing this, I should have asked one of the volunteers about this, rather than simply fretting about it to my friends. This is a lesson for myself when I go to future events – when I have a concern, bring it up with people who work there. Something I will definitely push myself to do in the future… Now onto the grocery haul!
- Kaslo Sourdough Pasta – Classic and Hemp (Kaslo, BC)
- Gojoy Goji Berries (Aldergrove, BC)
- Kapow Now! Nocheez Chickpea Crackers – Original, Smoked Paprika, and Rosemary Sea Salt (Vancouver, BC)
- Miyoko’s Creamery – Garlic and Herb, and Winter Truffle vegan cheese (USA)
- Karthein’s Organics – Kimchi and Beets and Ginger Sauerkraut (Canadian)
- Organika Organic Maca Powder (Canadian)
- Field Roast – Field Burgers (USA)
- Hanes Hummus – Hot Date Hummus (Saskatoon, Sk.)
- Gusta Foods – Vegan Italiana Sausages and Plant-based Grating Cheese (Québec)
As you’ll notice, most of the products are made in Canada, and a few of them are local which is really exciting. I am always looking for locally made items to purchase when I can, so I was happy to see such a great turn out from Canadian companies. It was also great to become more familiar with the Vegan scene in Canada.
We had already tried a few of the products before buying them at Veg Expo. For instance, the Kaslo Sourdough pasta, which comes in several different varieties, has been a favourite discovery of ours over the last couple of years. It is really delicious; easier to digest than regular wheat pasta – doesn’t give you that gross bloated feeling, and yet keeps you full for a long time. Another that I’ve bought before is the Organika Maca powder. I bought it several months ago from the local health food store. I mainly used it in smoothies but I’ve also put it into our overnight oats sometimes. We just happened to finish the package a week or two before Veg Expo, so when I saw their booth, I decided to stock up again. We’d also had the Karthein’s Kimchi – it surpasses other store brands that I’ve tried by far. I imagine it’s closer to what homemade kimchi would actually taste like. I’ve never made kimchi from scratch, but it’s definitely on my list of things to do. We’re also a big fan of Field Roast in general. Their Smoked Apple Sage sausages are staples for us. We also love Chou Vegan Cheese made by Field Roast. Generally James likes to make veggie burgers from scratch, so we don’t tend to buy them pre-made, however, when we tried the Field Roast Field Burger samples at the Vegan Supply booth, we were sold! The same thing happened when we tried the Gusta products! We weren’t really looking to buy more cheese, as we’d already purchased the Miyoko’s Creamery cheese, but when we tried the samples at the Gusta booth, we knew we couldn’t go home without them, especially since they’re from Québec, and we didn’t know when we would have the opportunity to buy them again.
We were so excited about our not-so-little haul that we tried most of the products in the first few days since the expo. On Sunday evening, I made the Classic Kaslo Sourdough pasta with tomato sauce, veggies and some of the Gusta Italiana sausages (pictured below). On Monday or Tuesday evening we had the Kapow Now crackers with the Miyoko’s Garlic and Herb cheese; really nice together. I’ve also been using the Gojoy goji berries on pancakes, in a smoothie and in overnight oats already.