We got our tickets for the Planted Expo at the beginning of No Meat May and have been excitedly looking forward to it ever since.
We got one-day tickets and chose to attend on Sunday in order to hear speaker Ali Tabrizi, the director of "Seaspiracy". The expo was at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre and we arrived just before 10 in order to score one of the swag bags that were given to the first 500 people through the door. We arrived on time, but the swag bag was a little anticlimactic. Oh well, the bag provided a vessel for all the information that we collected during the course of our explorations.
You've probably all been to food events at the convention centre. This one was just like others except meat and dairy free! Of course, we were interested in seeing what was available for someone who is interested in living a cruelty-free, environmentally friendly and healthy life. We tried samples at Save Da Sea (among many others) and learned that they are suppliers of Cofu, the vegan sushi place that we visited within the last couple of weeks. Their carrot-based smoked salmon was startlingly good!
Eggs are a bit of a challenge if you are going plant-based. Of course, there is the agua faba solution (canned chickpea liquid) which whips up pretty nicely to replace eggs for baking. Another solution is to just not use eggs. However, Just Eggs provides a sometimes replacement if you really need to have that taste once in a while. At the Just Egg booth, they were whipping up a little egg breakfast sandwich which was actually pretty tasty! I have tried to price this product and you can apparently get it at Walmart for under $6. One bottle is the equivalent of 8 eggs (if I have correctly calculated) which is a little pricey but why not once in a while? Remember if you are not buying meat you can afford to splurge on Just Egg occasionally!
There were many booths providing their plant-based versions of meat replacements including Jackfruit Revolution. We already use jackfruit from time to time and it is tasty and provides good texture for tacos or chilli or whatever. While jackfruit provides a nice canvas for meaty flavours, it is not a protein. On the other hand, the plant-based diet provides plenty of protein and no one needs to panic if they are following a balanced diet. "Where do you get your protein?" is the first question that everyone seems to ask. It is not really an issue.
The main stage (actually, there was only one stage) featured speakers from several walks of life including athletes, chefs and even a dancer!
For me, the main attraction was the director of Seaspiracy a startling documentary that is available on Netflix right now. He talked about the adventure of filming, getting his product produced and also a mystery future project.
We collected a lot of info on available products, most of which are local. We tasted enough samples that lunch wasn't even necessary! Presumably, this expo will be back next year. We urge everyone who is able especially you food bloggers, to get a taste of what is out there for people interested in following a more plant forward diet and maybe contributing to a better world for your children and grandchildren.
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