Sunday, October 23, 2016

Got free lunch and a bunch of other free stuff yesterday

I really should have posted about this before the fact, so people could hit it up, but it's been crazy around here and it slipped my mind, so, sorry about that. However, the Boston Vegetarian Festival happens every year, so sign up for their social media or e-mails and be reminded next year.

For those who haven't been, the major downside is that it's packed. A few years ago they started running it for two days instead of one, which cuts down on the crowds, but it's still pretty crazy. It also unfortunately attracts a lot of young self-absorbed types who block aisles, don't say excuse me when they shove through your space, and swing their bags (generally covered in homemade patches about various radical views they'll hold deeply for a couple years until they get married and have a kid and move to the suburbs) into people.

If you can get past this though, it's a great event, and you get a ton of free stuff. Our family got a free huge lunch by walking around and taking samples. Some of the vendors give out little toothpicks of things, but others give out nearly a whole portion of what they have. Many of the vendors sampling South Asian and African food gave us sizeable amounts of curries and other dishes. So Delicious had full-size coconut milk ice cream bars. We also got many packaged samples -- containers of hummus, packages of seitan jerky, trial size soaps and lotions. Oh, and coupons! Most of the vendors of large national brands (Lightlife, Follow Your Heart, Cedar's, So Delicious, Dr. Bronner's) had coupons for a dollar off a product. And speaking of Dr. Bronner's, their table was covered in the same hilarious bizarrely punctuated and capitalized propaganda that's all over the bottles of soap. I couldn't get a very good picture, because the place was packed, but I present for your amusement the photos that I did manage:

All-One! Exceptions Eternally? Absolute None!
We loved the number of women-owned and people-of-color-owned businesses we saw this year. This has been quite a welcome change from the first time we went several years ago. We met some great folks who own local businesses. Three of our favorite -- all three Black-owned, the first two woman-owned, the third woman-co-owned -- were Saffiyah Botanicals from Roslindale, Lyndigo Spice from Dorchester, and Global Village Cuisine, from Vermont but sold at Whole Foods.

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