Positive celebration of vegan lifestyle at VegFest 2016

As the world evolves, billions of people are added to the global population and every country needs to look long and hard at how it feeds itself. While it’s hard to see a world where meat disappears completely – developing non-animal food is certainly a very worthwhile area of research. Farmers demand huge amounts of water, grain and other resources to produce meat while, at the same time, tasty fruit and vegetable-based options keep getting better. Africa Fashion took a reporting team along to VegFest 2016 at London’s Olympia to see just how tempting these new choices are.

The show itself was way bigger and better attended than we anticipated. Whether for health, ethical or economic reasons – more and more people are exploring a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle. Over the past 10 years, the number of vegans in the UK has climbed from 150,000 to more than half a million. Globally, you start to include countries like India, where up to 400 million describe themselves as ‘at least vegetarian’.  So the market is huge. On to the event and the exhibitors!

Our first stop is Organic Livity who produce some amazing cakes and deserts – available in Camden Market.

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Ethicoco produces great tasting /bean to bar’ chocolate in a variety of flavours.

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The queue to sample Brownins vegan ‘jerk’ was long and looked hungry.

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Global Fusion Bakery creates home-based, animal-free versions of pizza, cakes and a variety of sweet and savory snacks. Here are a couple of shots of their work – including a vegan black forest gateaux which looked to be popular.

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Close up of vegan black forest gateaux.

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Another great part of the show was the way major brands like Holland and Barrett were supporting their suppliers like GOOD Full Stop bars – right next door to the Green Bean Cafe (based in Tottenham) with their selection of tasty salads.

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At #vegfest2016 and just stopped @goodfullstop #GoodFullStop snack bars – samples #TasteGood. #Veganfriendly @vegfestuk

A photo posted by AfricaFashion (@editorafricafashion) on

The Green Bean Cafe offers no-fuss vegetarian/vegan food made to satisfy any hunger; appealing to all; locally sourced produce; Vegan/Vegetarian Soul Food based in Tottenham!

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Next stop was Pulsin and Beond. VegFest provides a lot of information about how to improve your health if you decide to switch to a vegan diet. One way to ensure good health when you change is you ‘boost your food’ with the various protein options that can be added to vegan food. The Beond bars are healthy treat.

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The search for ‘wonder foods’ was alive and well at VegFest 2016, with the Eat Moringa team providing a lot of information about the nutritional value of its fruit, leaves and oils. With vitamin A, B (1, 2, 3, 5, 6 & 9) and C present – it appears to be one of nature’s very own multivitamin products.

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The Africa Fashion team stopped by doTerra, which offers not only natural essential oils – but also a completely different way to use them in massage. Cleansing, soothing, uplifting, empowering and protecting were all on offer.

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One of the most difficult stands was the one dedicated to eradicating animal inequality. They were using virtual reality to give visitors a deep understanding of just what happens in modern animal farming. Some found it upsetting and it’s certainly not easy to watch.

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Let’s not forget the cookery demos – I was so excited to see Tomi Makanjuloa AKA ‘The Vegan Nigerian’, making her Unique Vegan. Pancakes. Here she is in action:

Up on the third floor you’ll find all the conference rooms covering – The vegan athletes summit, Pro-Intersectional Vegan Conference and Health Summit talks. There was so much to see, do & taste, that we didn’t get to attend any of the talks, but here’s a poster detailing today’s topics for the Pro-Intersectional Vegan Conference.

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Finally, we MUST mention the incredible sampling and freebies on offer!   While stocks last, everyone receives a vegan-approved Choc-Shot. Just 4 tea spoons of this will transform dairy free milk into a chocolaty drink – which we can recommend!

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If you are free on Sunday 23rd October, then we encourage you to visit VegFest at London’s Olympia. Once you’ve sampled everything at the event, we believe you will be a little more convinced that non-animal diets are possible and can taste great!

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