Lincoln Vegan Festival 2019

A vegan festival would expect to showcase the best of vegan food.

Er, not in Lincoln, not if vegan festival last year was anything to go by.

Visit in the morning, eat?

I decided to check, could find little help on their facebook page, asked.

There is pizza, Indian, wraps, dosa, chips, Hot dogs, Vegan Steak sandwiches, pulled Jackfruit tacos and more.

To say the least did not sound appetising.

I ate first and turned up early afternoon.

A wise move.

Last year, the only stall making any effort at quality, an Indian stall.

Today, disgusting looking junk food.

Hot dogs. Yuk.

I am used to eating excellent vegetarian food, occasional vegan food, an Indian family that prepares excellent food, Indian restaurants, a dosa off Ollo Foods at Guildford farmers market, a lady who used to prepare excellent vegetarian meals at Guildford Institute, Food for Thought in Covent Garden.

But not what was on offer at Lincoln Vegan Festival. They even had the gall to demand Lincoln Drill Hall close its own cafe.

Apart from a couple of food stalls, clothes, hunt sabateurs, candles, soap, ceramics

I was there all of ten minutes.

I spent longer at Cafe Portico. Passing by, owner waved, I thought it rude not to look in and say hello, and he offered me a coffee.

Cafe Portico, unlike Lincoln Vegan Festival, do take care with their food. As does Curry Jacks I passed on my way to the vegan festival.

It was then to Vine’s Bakery, which opened on Friday at the foot of Steep Hill. They only opened on Friday, and selection currently poor, but it was as though Lincoln had never seen a bread shop before, maybe have not, as a steady stream of people passing through the door into the shop.

A walk up Steep Hill.

Looked in Imperial Teas. Pleased to see they have added Duffy’s bean-to-bar chocolate.

Duffy’s, high quality bean-to-bar, dark chocolate vegan by definition, I am surprised no stall at the Lincoln Vegan Festival. On the other hand, the low quality food offering, maybe wise not to be associated with when have a high quality product.

Not so pleased to see Tourist Information Centre promoting Loyal Free app. Does nothing for Lincoln, even less for local businesses, but does hijack personal data from your phone.

Later, cappuccino at Coffee Aroma.

There was to be talks at the Lincoln Vegan Festival, but if there was I saw no information.

Ludicrous claims relating to environment and health on the back of the Lincoln Vegan Festival flier.

The world has been subjected to a 50-year experiment of low fat, low meat, increased carbohydrates, based upon poor quality data and biased interpretation, meanwhile we have seen an exponential rise in heart disease, obesity and type-ii diabetes. Those who dared to challenge what has now become hard wired, were smeared, denied funding, barred from publication, not invited to conferences. The few contrary studies were dismissed.

Over the last 100 years a sharp rise in the use of vegetable oils from near zero. Trans-fats are formed when we hydrogenate vegetable oils to form hard fats. The first paper alerting to the possible dangers of trans-fats, an artificial fat found in cell membranes, was followed by forty years of deadly silence as the vegetable oil industry shut down all debate. The process produces other artificial fats of which very little is known.

Cooking using polyunsaturated vegetable oils leads to oxidation products linked to cancer. Not only liked to cancer, toxic to rats and mice, damage to DNA and RNA. We breath in these oxidation products each time we visit a junk food outlet, we ingest each time we eat junk food.

Soya oils has seen use increase a thousand fold over a century.

Olive oil does not have the long pedigree led to believe. Even in Greece, use of olive oil does not stretch back into antiquity. The use of olive oil was cosmetic not culinary.

The Mediterranean Diet is recent, conferences in Mediterranean locations, good food, favourable reports, get an invite for next year, all floated on an olive oil industry slush fund.

EAT-Lancet diet for a small planet, almost vegan, good for our health, good for the planet, too good to be true, the wheels fell off within days when subject to proper scientific scrutiny. That promoted by agribusiness should send alarm bells ringing.

Yes, we should eat more fruit and vegetables, grains and nuts, less processed food, maybe less meat, but we need to take a whole systems approach, not be the latest bigot in town jumping on the latest fashionable bandwagon, the latest fad.

In many parts of the world, grazing animals is more environmentally sound than growing crops.

There is nothing intrinsically healthy about a vegan diet, especially when highly processed, indeed all the evidence is heavily stacked against.

Organic food heavily processed is still heavily processed food.

Would those tucking into the vegan hot dogs be so keen if presented with a list of ingredients?

And what of the environmental cost?

Nitrogen-based fertilisers, pesticides, palm oil, genetic modification, reliance on oil industry, just a few of the issues.

Africa, Europe, Asia, North America was covered in open woodland and grassland, savannah, prairie, across which roamed huge herds of herbivores. Man was a hunter gatherer, ate red meat, ate fat, grains did not form part of our diet.

Animals are part of the natural cycle, recycle nutrients. Contrast with ploughed fields, soil erosion.

We need to drastically reduce carbon emissions, healthy grasslands, woodlands, soils, act as carbon sinks. They also help, less radiated energy back into the atmosphere.

Try walking across soil midday day in the Middle East.

We need better farming practices that are good for planet, animals and our health.

The recent trend for fake milks, much to the annoyance of baristas as a cannot make decent cappuccino with fake milk, pause and question the environmental cost.

Where has the soya come from? Plantations where once stood rain forests. Soy can be an allergen. The soy is possibly genetically modified. Soy is bitter and has to have additives to remove the bitterness.

What of almond milk? If California, what of the water used in a state suffering from drought and over extraction of water? Five litres of water for each almond.

If do not like milk, for whatever reason, have single origin V60 pour over.

Too much fake science. For example a vegan burger compared with a meat burger, the former served with green tea, the latter served with a latte with half a dozens spoons of sugar.

There is no such thing as cheap food, we simply externalise the costs, social costs, human rights abuse, environmental degradation, climate chaos and animal welfare.

A handful of people eating plants does little to address ethics in food production.

It is not ethical when we praise quality but expensive food, nor when we praise cheap substandard food.

It is not ethical when rich folk enjoy food produced by poor folk who get poorer the harder they work. It is not ethical when the rich get richer peddling junk food to the masses.

Lincoln Vegan Festival was sponsored by a fake cheese company. If they had a stall I did not see.

Fake cheese is not cheese.

Cheese comes from the milk of ruminants, they process what we cannot eat, turn it into milk, rare breed cows out on pasture, unpasteurised milk, turned into cheese, a wholesome natural product, without any additives, flavourings, not adulterated in any way. Slow food at its best. Anything else, is not cheese.

If not made from milk, it is not cheese.

The demand for cashew nuts to satisfy vegans, especially for fake cheese, is leading to appalling working conditions for those in the Third World who shell the nuts.

Veganuary was much hyped. Was it the success it claimed to be?

Veganuary was much hyped, yes a big increase, but a big increase on a small number is still a very small number. The real measure, how many stuck to a vegan diet? A mere 16%, a tiny number on an already small number. Butchers reported no loss of business.

A vegan sausage at Greggs was much hyped. Did sales increase because their sausage rolls were so bad? Bad diet, highly processed junk food, a diet rich in highly processed carbohydrates.

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