North Texas Daily

Texas Veggie Fair encourages conscious living

Texas Veggie Fair encourages conscious living

Texas Veggie Fair encourages conscious living
November 08
10:20 2019

On Saturday, Nov. 2, Dallas Vegan hosted the Texas Veggie Fair at the Dallas Farmers Market. In celebrating its 10th year, the event welcomed people from all walks of life to learn more about plant-based diets and vegan lifestyles.

Dallas Vegan, a volunteer-run non-profit organization founded by Jamey Scott, hosted several events including panels, live music and pet adoptions. The venue welcomed both local vendors and some from around the country.

Several vendors came from the Denton area, including the widely known Spiral Diner, which was credited as being one of the event’s original vendors 10 years ago.

Pan Ector Industries, a screen-printing and design company in Denton, provided on-site printing of the event’s official T-shirts. UNT studio art junior Ashely Lewis greeted attendees as they stepped up to the booth for their keepsake. Pan Ector had several designs and colors from which customers could choose.

Yesika Horton, owner of Spread Happiness Nut Butters, said she is typically a regular of the Denton Community Market but wanted to support the Texas Veggie Fair, as she has been vegan for 15 years herself. She debuted special flavors for the holiday season like pecan pumpkin pie butter and her new nostalgia-inducing Mexican hot chocolate peanut butter flavor.

“I grew up with those flavors,” Horton said. “We drank Mexican hot chocolate all the time as kids, so that’s my favorite right now.”

Horton even had savory nut butter flavors, like her curry and sriracha maple flavor, which she recommends for cooking and for making dipping sauces.

Though the event showcased plenty of food, it also encouraged sustainability and mindful living with activities like yoga, composting stations and other lifestyle brand vendors.

Denton resident and retiree Brigid Brammer owns Brigid Brammer Bags. She sells reusable, reversible tote bags that feature bold, attention-catching patterns. She said she is happy to make bags people identify with, and believes both the fun patterns and the fact that her bags are washable help draw people to them.

“I’m all about saving the environment, so anything I can do to eliminate people using plastic bags, I’m all for it,” Brammer said, as she pointed out her line of grocery bags.

Some of her best sellers at the fair were Day of the Dead themed bags and totes that she made in collaboration with fellow Denton artist Bryan Kelly. They featured stylized portraits of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Brammer said she takes the sustainable aspect of her business seriously. When asked where she would like to see her business go in the future, she made it clear that she wants to keep operations small and localized.

“I don’t want it to get so big that I can’t do it all myself,” Brammer said. “Plus, I still want it to be fun.”

The fair also promoted plant-based food education by offering cooking demonstrations in both English and Spanish. Earlier that morning, the event’s coordinators announced that due to unforeseen circumstances, the Chef Eddie Garza was unable to make it to the fair. In his place, local actress and chef Gabrielle Reyes of One Great Vegan stepped in to give the lesson in English, while chef Aurelio Arias, owner of El Palote Panadería, led the Spanish demonstration.

Aurelio and his wife, Lily, said veganism has had an impact on their own lives. When Aurelio was hospitalized in intensive care after suffering a heart attack, the Arias family knew they had to make an immediate change.

“When he first left the hospital, he left with a lot of medications,” Lily said. “But as we’ve changed to a healthier lifestyle, he now has zero medications.”

Lily said she shares veganism through the traditional Mexican foods served at El Palote to show her community that they have options when it comes to eating and sustaining a healthier lifestyle. The couple said mole, chile relleno and pozole as some of their favorite dishes to eat, especially during the holidays, insisting that nothing is lost in making them vegan-friendly.

“Those foods are part of us,” Lily said. “As Mexicans, as Hispanics, that’s our culture. In our restaurant, we’ve made the traditional foods that we’re accustomed to in a healthier way, and totally vegan.”

A similar sentiment could be seen throughout the event, as the true multicultural makeup of Dallas’ residents and food scene was represented in the attendees, exhibitors and vendors.

Featured Image: Vegan Vibrationz prepares stuffed avocados at the 10th annual Texas Veggie Fair in Dallas on Nov. 2, 2019. Image by Shardae White

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Shardae White

Shardae White

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