Boston vegetarian food festival celebrates its 20th year — Gallery

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The parking lot was full as an energetic crowd packed the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center this past Saturday in Roxbury, eagerly waiting to learn more about what is new in the culinary world of veganism. Fake meat that might not have been edible a decade ago may now look appetizing to even the carnivores wandering into the festival.

The annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival is a two-day event filled with plant-based food, cooking demonstrations, national speakers and 120 exhibits. Festivalgoers can browse through stands from grocery and natural food stores to new products and cookbooks.

Bob Hulzapfel, the president and sales manager of Book Publishing Company, stood behind his colorful display of vegan and vegetarian cookbooks. According to him, “There are lots of ways to retrain your diet… and that’s what these cookbooks are for.”

One of the longest running events of its kind in the country, this festival provides a resource for vegetarians, vegans and everyone who is looking to live a healthier lifestyle with plant-based diets.

Ben Martin, who has been attending the event for over seven years, traveled from Connecticut to learn about the new vegan products on the market. He said, “It’s fun to get together with people who have the same ideas as you and not be made fun of.”

Ivette Figueroa traveled from New York to enjoy the food without fear. “You know it’s safe to eat and there’s no hidden meat or ingredients,” she said. “You have no questions or worries.”
Of course, the festival isn’t just for vegetarians; everyone, from vegans to omnivores, is invited to learn more about how their diets affect their health and the environment.

“I’m not a vegetarian but I’m looking to expand into that area,” said Lynn Valcourt from Hudson, Mass. “It gives you a chance to taste before you purchase.”

Marissa Murakami from Marlborough, Mass., a vegan for a little over a year, enjoys coming to the festival to learn, discover new things and try new treats. She said, “It’s a growing movement and people need to know more about it.”

Brands like Organic India herbal supplements, Gardein meat-free products, So Delicious dairy free desserts are providing free samples. Presenters such as Rich Roll are explaining the power behind a plant-based diet, and Kristin Lajeunesse is talking about her adventures of eating at vegan restaurants around the country.


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Admission and parking is free. Make sure to bring cash if you plan on buying from one of the many vendors on site.

Saturday, Oct. 24 11:00am-6:00pm
Sunday Oct. 25 10:00am-4:00pm

Reggie Lewis Athletic Center
1350 Tremont Street, Boston, Massachusetts