We just waddled home from a romp to Seattle Vegfest where we ate until it hurt. For those who don't know what that is, it basically a mish-mash of a ton of vegetarian and vegan food companies that are brought together by Vegetarians of Washington for an awesome food sharing extravaganza. 99% of the tables are giving away samples and a lot of them also give away free packaged samples to take home. It's 8 bucks to get in, but there is soooo much food that it's totally worth it. We made sure we were hungry when we got there, and within an hour of walking through the doors, both our stomachs and our bags were full of free vegan/vegetarian food.
I tried non-dairy cheese for the first time, which was actually much more tasty than I thought, and we got to try a lot of attempts at creating imitation meats. Of course, they generally taste nothing like meat, but if you eat it with an open mind, most are pretty good. I tried some almond yogurt which I thought was totally disgusting, and I just stayed away from the chalky-looking protein drinks. Gross.
Some of the free sweet take home goods we got were a tub of vegan butter (coconut oil, pretty yummy), some tofu, several odwalla bars, a dozen or so tea bags of various flavors, some Lara bars, honey sticks, and some granola. All those look like this:
Pretty good huh? Totally worth the 8 dollars. But seeing all these crazy foods got me thinking, how healthy is all of this? I know there are a lot of reasons behind vegetarianism: health, animal rights, environmental, taste, etc. Most of which I share in my personal choice to generally stay on a vegetarian diet. I think there is a general thought that vegetarians are eating healthier, more wholesome foods. But I can't help but think that some of the food at Vegfest today is not only unhealthy, but sometimes even worse that "mainstream" foods.
Take all those meat substitutes. Some of them have such long ingredients lists with words I've never heard of or don't understand, that it makes me feel uneasy. We talk about how processed foods are terrible for you but forget that a lot of these foods are totally processed. So many of them contain preservatives and various corn products (don't get me started on our problematic dependence of corn-based ingredients,) that at times, I feel like we're going too far into vegetarianism. I get it, people want to eat "meat-like" substances to replace what they give up, but why eat something that is more foreign to our bodies than just plain meat? And some of it is just gross.
I could go on for a while about this, but I digress. Let me end by saying that there were a lot of food products there that were more whole foods-like, that don't fall into this gross processed-with-chemicals category: kombucha, fruit leathers, veggie patties, lentil curry, kelp salad... All pretty delicious. This whole conversation is super complicated and controversial, I know, and I'm sure I did not do it justice. I'm reading a really good book right now that's talking about all this so I guess it's on my mind...
On a completely different note, we've decided to get two more chickens. We don't know the details yet of when or where, but it's gonna happen soon-ish. Oh, and Abby laid her 100th egg today. Congratulations Abby! Tomorrow Frannie should do the same.