NOLA Veggie Fest comes to the New Orleans Healing Center, 2372 St. Claude Ave., this weekend (May 11-12). The timing couldn’t be better, at least if you’re one of the many New Orleanians still trying to digest the meat pies and cochon de lait po-boys consumed during the vast community pig-out that just took place at the Fair Grounds.
Nola Veggie Fest features food vendors, restaurants, cooking demos, speakers, films, product samples and a children’s area. It’s designed for anyone with an interest in healthy eating and new cuisines. But the festival also is a place to see how individual food choices can have an impact on the environment by promoting sustainable lifestyles and animal protection. Much of the focus will be on vegan cuisine.
The festival, which launched in 2009, is a project of the Humane Society of Louisiana. A lead sponsor of the fest is the New Orleans Food Co-op, which operates a community-owned grocery store at the New Orleans Healing Center.
A festival day pass is $15 at the door and includes a T-shirt, tote bag and product samples. The outdoor food vendor area is free and open to the public. (Other ticket options and festival details can be found at nolaveggiefest.com). The festival runs Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
For another dose of vegetarian food, check out India Fest at the New Orleans Museum of Art on Saturday.
If you have an interest in the sustainable lifestyle issues raised at NOLA Veggie Fest, you might want to look into the Eat Local Challenge 2013. The NOLA Locavores group is encouraging New Orleanians to go 30 days in June eating only foods grown, caught or raised within a 200-mile radius of the city. They hope to “raise awareness of the nutritional, economic, environmental and cultural benefits of eating locally sourced foods.”