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Vegan food festival

Vegan food festival article by Nabaasa Innocent

THE FESTIVAL THAT WAS!

On the 9th of June 2019, a day that doubles as our Heroes Day public holiday, Uganda hosted the first-ever Vegan Festival at Kabira Country Club. The Brand Ambassadors 256-organised event was a great success, seeing as it was being staged for the very first time. Over 500 vegans and non-vegans turned up on the day, to have a taste of vegan dishes made in Uganda.

ISU international school of Uganda -

Despite the heavy rains that persisted for most of the day, people from different origins and backgrounds endured the inclement weather, and from what we have seen from the photos taken, the visitors certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves. Delicious vegan meals, ranging from barbecue, burgers, paratha, roasted pumpkins, potatoes, juices and cocktails are just some examples of what was enjoyed by the revelers.

The Vegan food festival wasn’t just about eating but included dancing, music and performances from renowned R&B artist Allan Tonix, plus Grenade and Brenda, all of whom wowed the audience.

According to Nabaasa Innocent, the brains behind the Vegan Festival, the inspiration to organize such an event resulted from renewed global concern about healthy eating habits that many have previously taken for granted, possibly putting life at stake. Innocent further states that this improved lifestyle is aimed at promoting compassion towards the animals we eat and protection of the environment. The event wasn’t just for adults but for the kids as well, who had their own, fully-equipped play station. According to Innocent, this festival will now become an annual event and the future plan is to make it an East African Vegan festival too, in the next three years.

WHY WE ORGANISED THIS VEGAN FOOD FESTIVAL ?

Nabaasa Innocent and Amumpaire Bismac The brains behind the festival

Nabaasa Innocent and Amumpaire Bismac

Annually over 100,000 lose their lives to non-communicable diseases, which is estimated to be 35% of the total annual deaths occurring in the country, according to UNCDA.  In line with the Ministry of Health objective of “Focusing on prevention through creating awareness of the risk factors and advising people to adjust their lifestyles”, Brand Ambassadors 256, thought it pertinent to organize this Festival.

Vegan dietary habits are gaining more and more fans the world over and a number of similar food festivals have been staged elsewhere; they too have attracted thousands of revelers. We believe this is evidence that, globally, more and more people are appreciating this lifestyle. According to Nabaasa, the aim is to introduce this plant-based diet to Ugandans, thus avoiding all animal foods such as meat and dairy products, among others.

A vegan diet is richly diverse and comprises all kinds of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, beans and pulses, all of which can be prepared in endless combinations that ensure no-one is ever bored with his or her meals. These can range from curries to cakes, pastries to pizzas, all made with the best, plant-sourced ingredients. his Festival will continue to provide a large-scale event that allows vegans to celebrate in an atmosphere of music, cooking and the very best vegan products. However, the Festival also recognizes and will continue to address issues that impact upon animal welfare, human health and the environment.

Vegan food dish

Vegan food dish

WHO IS A VEGAN?

Research has linked vegan diets to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.
Vegans are humans who avoid exploiting animals for any purpose, with compassion being a key driver.  “Going vegan” is a great opportunity to learn more about nutrition and cooking, and to improve your diet. This means avoiding consuming saturated fats from meat, milk and eggs, and not consuming processed meat, which the World Health Organization has classified as a leading cause of cancer. Deriving nutrients from plant foods allows more room in your diet for health-promoting options. By making smart choices about foodstuffs, a vegan diet can be a very healthy way of eating. Vegans also tend to limit their salt intake and they eat plenty of whole grains, fruit, nuts, seeds and vegetables. These foods are packed full of beneficial fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Vegan food festival Uganda 2019

Vegan food festival Uganda 2019

So, to summarize, this new festival is aimed at creating awareness in people about the environment, animal rights protection, health and veganism. The overall aim is to serve everyone who may be interested in these subject areas and to collaborate with other vegan and vegetarian organizations.

The Brand Ambassadors 256 organized event was proudly sponsored by Kabira Country Club, Pepsi, Smile Telecom, NTV Uganda, Arirang Hotel and Restaurant, Chocolate Safaris, The Ruparelia Foundation and Cafe Javas.

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