“Look at all these Granolas.”
“Granolas” is the label that a friend of mine gave to people who are “Green.” You know those granolas who recycle, wear clothing made from recycled materials, usually vegan or vegetarian. The people who conserve energy at every possible opportunity, maybe bike instead of drive to work, and are offended by the amount of paper wasted on newspapers and in office spaces. Those who can turn eco awareness into rocket science. Those people, or us rather, we are “Granolas”. The specific Granolas she was referring to were the ones in attendance of the the 2012 DC Green Festival.
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to join the “granolas” from across the US of A, who converged on the Washington Convention Center over the weekend of the September 29th, for the annual DC Green Festival.
Vendors selling everything from flavored kale snacks to hybrid cars, even Vitamixers were all present and ready to share their Granola lives with the festivals attendees. Natuarally I loved the entire weekend, as I made my way through the crowds snatching every sample snack or goody available, I felt overwhelmed by how welcoming everyone was. The festival’s attendees were graced with wise words from a wide array of speakers; Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman told some intense stories from her adventures as an Independent Newscaster. Giving the audience in-depth details about the way Troy Davis’s supporters gave her support when officers attempted to block her from getting live coverage of the day Troy Davis received his lethal injection for a crime proven he didn’t commit. The rest of her time on the podium was spent plugging for her new book Breaking the Sound Barrier.
The Green (or Granola) Party’s presidential candidate Ralph Nader brought some gusto in his discussion of the lack of access to energy efficient options or “green” options. Nader expressed disappointment in the current US economic system stating “Corporations are not people! They are artificial entities created by our state governments. they were created to be our servants, not our masters.” Greg Palast revealed facts about the detrimental effects of GMO’s on American youth. A passionate NAACP president, Ben Jealous, gave the audience some perspective about ways that the same issues that sparked the civil rights movement are still prevalent within today’s society. A few other volunteers and I discussed the wide array of speakers, and we all settled on assuming that the festival’s organizers were reaching out to a wider range of people to attend the event. There was even a Green hip-hop performance by a rapper named Ietef.
Naturally, the “Good Food Stage” was my favorite. Presentations on making vegan burgers, sushi, and quinoa patties delivered from several top name chefs. Additionally there were some amazing DC based chefs. One goes by the name Alli Sosa. She runs a new DC based non-profit called “Micro-Greens” that centers around cooking classes around meals on a SNAP budget. Alli demonstrated a simple, quick recipe for pressure cooking a beef roast at the lowest expense, for around $3. Although this particular meal was meat centered, she said there are plenty of vegetarian options within her curriculum as well. The guys from Capital Kombucha also stopped by and gave a dynamic presentation on the fermentation process required in making Kombucha. I would only suggest making it to the brave at heart. You can find out more information by Googling “kombucha scoby.”
My favorite would probably have to be Brennan Geral from Diffrent World Deli, whose a fairly well known magician in the vegan kitchen. Following his demonstration, the audience quickly crowded around asking for samples of his vegan sushi. Overall, I loved the experience I had, and can’t wait for the Festival to come around again so I can hang out with these “Granolas” again next year.