It was fitting that on the same day in which thousands of young people took to the streets to stage a protest to bring light to the crisis this planet is facing when it comes to climate change that it was the first day of the annual Expo Manger Sante et Vivre Vert. Food production and sustainability is at the center of it all. After starting off in a rather modest way, the Expo is now huge and well attended.
It takes place in the expanse which is the Palais de Congres. With hundreds of booths there is plenty to sample and discover about a lifestyle which is becoming more and more the norm. Not just a niche market which appeals to those labelled as greens or granolas, many aspects of it appeals to the masses today. With many people and families, even those who are not vegan or vegetarian, turning to things such as Meatless Mondays, composting, sustainability, and a generally healthier lifestyle.
It is the mission of the Expo Manger Sante et Vivre Vert to promote a lifestyle which is all about ecology, healthy eating and natural living. While most are there to discover and sample food an offshoot of that is education. Learning about how easy and accessible it is to accomplish those goals. How simple it is to be a better citizen of this planet. To decrease your negative impact on Earth. We all have to do as much as we can to help reverse the damage we have already done.
Me, my photographer and a friend all attended on Friday afternoon (was a little less packed than it is on the weekend). An event we look forward to each year. It continues to grow and expand what it brings to the curious public. This year it took us roughly four hours to make our way from one end of the room to the other. There are hundreds of exhibitors. Food and mostly of the vegetarian or vegan variety. Many are gluten free, GMO free, organic or locally produced.
As you attend each year you realize the trends. This year there was plenty of booths involving kombucha, dairy free ice cream, coffee, and granola/trail mix/snacks. Big stars were Avril Supermarche Sante, Vega, probiotic king Bio-K, veggie fast food from Copper Branch, Giddy Yo organic products, and Gusta veggie cheese, sausages and loafs. Booths which were smaller, but still brought it included Bec Soda (locally produced soda which uses maple rather than sugar to sweeten), Clif protein and energy bars, gluten free treats at Cookie Stefanie, Covered Bridge chips, Crudessence, and Dose cold pressed juice.
While food (and of the meatless variety) is the focal point of the Expo there is still plenty of other things to discover. Booths had to do with cleaning and laundry products, compostable plates and cutlery, clothing, make up, skin care, soaps, essential oils, the martial art of Chi, spas, and massage and reflexology.
Eco-responsibility seems to be something that people are open to and the Expo is somewhere that you can go to learn about it. Purses and wallets made out of sustainable materials like bike tubes instead of the damaging on many levels typical leather. Even the Expo itself is sustainable and green itself as all of the transparent containers or cutlery you are offered the food samples in are 100% compostible. Even their printed material is on 100% recycled paper, made in Quebec, without chlorine, using biogas energy. At the Expo they not only talk the talk, but walk the walk.
The Expo continues this weekend March 16-17.
Photos by Jan Giblin