Sunday, May 24, 2015

Review: Oslo Vegetarian Festival 2015

Posted by Amanda Villaruel | | |
This year's Vegetarian Festival was no disappointment. This was my third visit, and I feel proud when I see that the event has grown the last two years. Hopefully it means that more people have become aware of vegetarian and vegan food :-)
Delicious cakes and smoothies at the Vegetarian Festival in Oslo
Delicious cakes and smoothies at the Festival


Just like last year, we decided to be there at 11.00 am sharp when the festival opened the doors.

As expected there was a long queue to the festival which stretched from the entrance and past the bus stop. To paint you the picture, we waited for 45 minutes before we finally got in. But fortunately the queue was moving reasonably quickly.
Queue to the Oslo Vegetarian Festival 2015
We're almost there!

Later on I heard about some trouble with the ATMs at the entrance, causing extra waiting for the visitors that came after us. Fortunately, we had cash so we got in pretty easily once we reached the entrance tent. CASH IS KING! :-)

The difference between this year and last year's event is the expansion of the outdoor area. They had moved the food booths outside, and all the shopping booths and free product samples were inside.

We took a quick visit to the shopping booths, where you can find pretty much anything vegetarian and vegan: dry food, snacks, clothing, accessories, organic cosmetics, algae powder and books.

Downstairs you could find free product samples: oat drink from the Swedish company Oatly, rice drink with coconut from Rice Dream, fairtrade chocolate from Divine and various products from Go Green.
Food tent at the Oslo Vegetarian Festival 2015
Food tent at the Oslo Vegetarian Festival 2015

I had skipped breakfast and couldn't wait to sample FOOD! You can find so much exciting veggie food, raw food and vegan food from all around the world - Southeast Asian, Indian, Mexican and more.
Food stand: Comida Viva & The Fermented Guru in Oslo
Food stand: Comida Viva & The Fermented Guru

The food that caught my attention was the raw food burrito from Comida Viva and The Fermented Guru. There's something about me and Mexican-inspired food. Maybe it's the combination of spice and freshness :-)
 Burrito from Comida Viva and Veggie taco from Mission Taco
1. Burrito from Comida Viva  2. Veggie taco from Mission Taco

The first round was the burrito from Comida Viva, and the second round was veggie tacos from Mission Taco with some fresh mango salad on the side. And oh, their home made lemonade was awesome! Some lemonades can either be too sweet or too sour, but their lemonade was the perfect balance between the two! :-)

Read: When your better half eats meat and you don't.
Drop-in seed workshop at Oslo Vegetarian Festival 2015
Drop-in seed workshop at Oslo Vegetarian Festival 2015

While we're waiting for the mini workshop about making coffee body scrub, we stopped by the drop-in seed workshop, where you can learn to make small newspaper pots and grow various herbs in them (Nyttige Hager = translated to 'Useful Gardens'). And what you sow is all yours ;-)
Working some magic at the Used Coffee Ground Workshop
Working some magic at the Used Coffee Ground Workshop

Finally the workshop for recycling used coffee grounds and turning it into coffee body scrub started.

On the event's Facebook page, participants were asked to bring an empty bottle. Siri Mittet from the company Gruten AS gave us an interesting introduction to used coffee grounds and various ways of recycling it (compost, body scrub, fertilizer).

On a daily basis Siri Mittet rides her bicycle and collects used coffee grounds from cafes in Oslo, and recycles it to make the popular Gruten soap.

Some of the advantages about used coffee grounds is its ability to remove dead skin cells and increasing the blood circulation. Because used coffee ground contains nitrogen, it suits well for your compost pile, and can also be mixed in the soil to create so-called 'barriers' for unwanted insects (it's the smell that repel them).
Getting my hands dirty - making coffee scrub from used coffee ground
Getting my hands dirty - making coffee scrub from used coffee ground

In the bowl we mixed used coffee ground, salt, organic sugar and coconut oil.
Making coffee scrub from used coffee ground in Oslo, Norway
Sticky fingers are done!

When the 'dough' is slightly sticky it's ready! My portion took more time to make because I had put too much used coffee ground in the mixture. I added more coconut oil, and voila ... it was perfect! :-)

We ended the festival with a vegan popsicle made from purely mango and I overheard that they also used grape juice. This is on my summer to-do-list! :-)

Conclusion:

Next year they should probably consider another place to hold the event because of its growing popularity :-)

Another thing that we noticed is that they didn't had any waste sorting. Everything (including plastic and cardboard) went into the same trash. A festival that stands for animal rights and environmental awareness should think about the details as well :-) And if they can afford it, they should also consider some entertainment like a live band (my friend thought of that idea).
Vegan mango popsicle
Vegan mango popsicle

All in all - a great event where the mission is to create more awareness around vegetarian food, animal rights and a greener living. If you're unsure, the reason alone for visiting the festival is the food.

Whether you're eating meat or not, you're going to find something really delicious. You don't have to be a vegetarian or vegan to attend the festival. We talked to people who came with their better halves who still ate meat.

Even though the event was packed (especially inside where the shopping booths were), I found it to be relaxing because I was surrounded by like-minded people :-)

Tips:
  • COME EARLY! The festival opens the doors at 11.00 am.
  • Bring cash for the entrance ticket (NOK 100 for day pass, NOK 150 for weekend pass)
  • Bring extra cash for food (some of the food booths only took cash)
  • If the weather is good, bring a blanket so you can relax on the lawn and in the sun eating veggie food ;-)

Continue to read: 
When your friends eat meat and you don't.

Try the recipe for untraditional vegetarian Thai red curry with noodles.



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