Veg-heads unite in NYC


Gregg Clunis

Every year, the U.S. Veg Corp puts on the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival in an attempt to promote a vegetarian and eco-friendly lifestyle. Even for those who may not be a vegetarian, or especially for those who are vegan, the event is fun and informative if you value eating healthy and want the knowledge that is required to do so. The knowledge gained from the speakers and the experience with various food vendors makes it seem possible for anyone to make the switch to a healthier lifestyle, even if that doesn’t necessarily mean giving up meat.

Entering the location, you are greeted by a sea of activity as people crowd around each of the promotional booths from over 100 exhibitors. These exhibitors range from vegan friendly bakeries like Brooklyn Rose Vegan Bakery to vegan clothing stores like “V Apparel” and everything you can imagine in between. There are shoe stores, appliance manufacturers, animal rights groups and even publishing companies. The people you see are gathered in order to see product demos, get more information on each company, and even to try free samples of the food and products offered.
As you walk around the floor you are able to sample some delicious foods, including a sprout salad from Jonathan’s Sprouts, raw ice cream from Raw Ice Cream Company, coconut water from Noelani Coconut Company, and a bean burger from Positivitea. The entire time you are on the floor, you are consumed by the delicious smell of cupcakes, chocolate, sushi, and even hot dogs, all of which are vegan or vegetarian and produced using eco-friendly methods. The food at this event is more than enjoyable and it is recommended to anyone, whether they eat meat or not, to attend this event just for this reason.

Another main benefit of attending the event is for the incredibly knowledgeable and experienced speakers that you gain access to as part of your entry fee. This year they had approximately 40 speakers on various topics including “7 Days to A Juicier You!,” “Crushing Heart Disease – A Healthy, Sexy Heart,” “Radiation from E-Devices and How to Reduce its Effects,” and many more.

One panel was called “Nourishing Ourselves, Nourishing Our Families with Raw Vegan Foods” presented by raw vegan expert Karen Ranzi. The entire presentation was based on how you can avoid multiple diseases and health issues by switching to a 100 percent raw vegan diet and the effects it has had on her personal life as well as the health of her family.

Ranzi has written two books on the benefits of the raw vegan diet and has spoken at numerous events throughout the country and the world. She has a unique ability to bring you into her life and make you think about your own diet. Seeing her speak inspires one to really take control of the things they eat. Even if you are not ready or willing to give up meat, it is more than highly encouraged that one includes more leafy green vegetables and fruits into their diet if they want to continue living a healthy lifestyle. Attending one of these speakers could really affect anyone’s life by forcing them to really examine diet choices.

Overall, the experience at the festival is an amazing one that keeps customers returning each year. The food is well presented and delicious, the speakers are very knowledgeable and informative, and the event as a whole challenges your outlook on food. Logistically, the event coordinators did an incredible job with the overall experience by handling the crowds and ensuring that everything ran smoothly and efficiently throughout the entire day. If you are at all on the fence about attending next year, it is highly recommended that you take the leap and purchase your ticket as soon as you can.