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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Veg out at Tucson’s first annual vegan food festival

Cedar Gardner
Mike Rosenkrantz, the market manager for farmer’s markets around Tucson, enjoys a vegetarian tamale from Del Cielo Tamales on Wednesday, Nov. 2.

Chow down on vegan “hot dogs” at VegOut Tucson, Tucson’s first vegan food festival this Sunday.

Foodies from all over Tucson are welcome to come and enjoy the vegan event, located at Whistle Stop Depot.

A $10 admission charge to the festival will include one free “hot dog,” as well as access to local food vendors, vegan authors, cooking demonstrations, entertainment for all ages and much more, including Tucson’s very first vegan eating contest.

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The vegan “hot dog,” made entirely out of large carrots, will be featured in the eating contest and is 100 percent fat free, cholesterol free and cruelty free.

“There’s no reason not to be [vegan],” said Clayton Kammerer, the founder and president of FoodInRoot.

FoodInRoot is a local marketing company that specializes in organizing farmer’s markets around Tucson.

Kammerer converted to veganism five years ago after a personal challenge suggested by a friend.

After only a month following a vegan diet, Kammerer lost 30 pounds and has continued the lifestyle since.

“[Going vegan is] the best way to lead you down the path of health,” Kammerer said.

Kammerer believes that, in time, everyone will make the change to veganism.

“Vegan doesn’t implicitly imply heath,” Kammerer said, who mentioned that Oreos and Chipotle Mexican Grill are vegan options but are not necessarily health-conscious.

Four years ago, FoodInRoot began organizing farmer’s markets around Tucson.

Kammerer brought the concept to the UA Mall two years ago, which gives students the opportunity to enjoy local food and handmade products without having to leave campus.

Numerous vendors who regularly participate in the UA farmer’s markets will be attending the VegOut Tucson festival.

Christa and Jon Parsons will be representing their company, PHÖD, this Sunday. PHÖD is a local vegan bakery specializing in healthy energy bars, pronuts and energy bites made in the Parsons’ home.

“There’s a misconception that vegan [and] gluten-free foods don’t taste good,” said Jon Parson, the co-owner of PHÖD.

Another local vegan bakery joining the list of vendors is making a difference in the Tucson community.

RELATED: Local bakery PHÖD makes its mark in Tucson’s vegan food scene

“You can do a lot with coconut,” said Mariel Montiel, owner of Tilted Halos.

Tilted Halos is a locally owned and operated vegan bakery that specializes in delicious vegan treats made with coconut milk, flour and oil.

“I’m interested to see the turnout,” Montiel said, who has stuck to a vegan diet for 10 months.

Montiel’s passion for baking started at home in March, and Tilted Halos was created in April.

The home-based operation provides transitional employment for individuals leaving prison and looking for work.

At Sunday’s event, Montiel will be selling cookies and multiple flavors of their brownies and cupcakes.

FoodInRoot will bring the Tucson food community together this Sunday with its first festival celebrating a diet that promotes a healthy, ethical and environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Follow Chloe Raissen on Twitter.

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