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In the Vegetarian & Vegan News...

March 8-10, 2002
Natural Products Expo
Anaheim, CA
reviewed by Jeff & Sabrina Nelson

"Food, glorious food!
Hot sausage and mustard!
While we're in the mood --
Cold jelly and custard!
Pease pudding and saveloys!
What next is the question?
Rich gentlemen have it, boys --
In-di-gestion!
"
From the musical Oliver

March 11, 2002 -- We've just spent two days eating, drinking and schmoozing our way through the Natural Foods Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center. When we got home last night, we took a vow that we were never going to eat again, a vow we've already broken today by devouring some of the delicious samples we brought home -- specifically an unbelievable cheesey vegan pizza, which you'll learn about below.

This is our fourth Expo -- you may have read our review of last year's, linked here (opens new browser).

The good news is: the universe of delicious vegan food is expanding. The bad news is -- so are our waistlines!

With so many vendors and booths distributing samples, it's impossible to get through them all (though we did see a couple people lugging huge bags of samples they scammed from every table, doing their best!). So this year we decided to focus on some foods called "stoppers."

What's a stopper?

Well, you probably have friends who've said something like this, "You know, I'd love to be vegan, but..." Fill in the blank: "I can't give up cheese..." or "I love milk on my cereal..." or "there're no good vegan ice creams out there..." etc. etc. etc.

We'd like to take a busload of these kind of people to that Natural Food Expo to show them that there's hardly a food out there that there isn't some impressive analog for. In other words, there are no good "stoppers" left!


The Anaheim Convention Center
(Yes, it was a beautiful day -- it's California, dang it!)


We agree!


Vegetarian as far as the eye can see!


Best booth (but not the best burgers...).


Mr. Mackie Cheese -- Not vegan, but it's cute.
Note Sabrina's broken left foot. It slowed our pace a bit -- but not our eating!


VegTime founder Davy Davidson with Michele Simon.

Davy's HandiPies are delish! Jeff loved the "HotChick" pie (wait, does that sound right?!). Sabrina preferred the Tennessee BBQ pie.

Visit VegTime's website!



Mr. Gluten-Free, direct from jolly old England, displays some loverly vegan chocolate wafers!

They're quite good. Quite!


From the UK-based Gluten-Free Pantry!

You can get all these great vegan, gluten-free products in the US and Canada now.

Our three little official taste-testers love the chocolate wafers. They're nice because they're not too sweet, but just the right balance of sweet, very satisfying.

Visit GlutenFree.com



Best of show!
Not the girl -- the pizza! What are you thinking!

Seriously, Angel's vegan mozzarella is astounding and,
as you can see from the photo, it melts.
It tastes as authentic as it looks -- but with no nasty
dairy side effects. The cheese shreds beautifully as well.


These angels love Angel's mozzarella pizza!


Guess what -- you can buy this
ONLINE right now!

Check out Angel's website and place an order.
We had this pizza for lunch today (just like
yesterday and the day before!).

Angel's Mozzarella Website



Bird's eye view of part of one of the five major showrooms. (It was a BIG show!)



Here she is -- the woman behind Amy's!
It's Rachel Berliner.

Huh? Where's Amy? We wanted to see Amy!

Turns out Amy is 14, is Rachel's daughter, and was spending the day at Disneyland with her friend. Mom was thrilled -- not!

Rachel mentioned that she's considering using Angel's cheese in a few of her products which curently contain soy cheese with casein. Our fingers are crossed!

See more at Amy's website.


Amy's vegan Tofu Scrambles are GREAT!


We LOVED Amy's new
Organic Vegetarian Baked Beans!
We'll be looking for them in our local store soon.



Our friend, Gabrielle Kushi, flew in from Minneapolis to model the latest in breadwear!
Gabrielle is a macrobiotic teacher and cooking instructor who operates Kushi's Kitchen.
She's holding breads from the French Meadow Bakery.



James Terman, Marketing Director, and
Steve Demos (right), founder and CEO, of White Wave.

Steve Demos is the biggest name in soy milk.
He's done more damage to the dairy industry than any
other individual on the planet -- not by bashing or name-calling -- but
by creating irresistible soy products.

In fact, other soy companies should probably pay Steve a royalty
since most wouldn't exist today without his having blazed the trail.
Yes, study this photo well: this is what a successful, ethical,
and ingenious veg entrepreneur looks like.


Soylatte
Praise the Lord and pass the nog -- uh...I mean soylatte.

This new product is Silk's answer to, "It's January!
Where can I find a bottle of Silk's Nog?!"

It's a little lighter than Nog, which is nice,
and just a hint spicier. Yum! Should be out in May.


Yep, we agree!


Silk truck arrives at Nelson home for their weekly delivery!

Check out the White Wave Website.



Clif displays its colors!

We're huge Clif and Luna Bar fans here. We buy them by the case.
So we feel reeeeeeealy bad if we have to say something negative about
this company or one of its products. But the new MoJo...ohhh...it's disgusting!


Hint to Clif: Never give your product a name
that can be easily mocked -- like "Bad Mojo!" "No Mojo!"
"Please Go, MoJo!" "No Mo' MoJo!"

The MoJo promo material reads:
"Another first of a kind product from the makers of Clifbar."
Hopefully the last of its kind!

In case you didn't get it, we were not impressed with the MoJo line.


New Luna Flavors!

Fortunately, the Chocolate Peppermint Stick Luna Bar
makes up for the bad Mojo! Now *this* Luna
has some GOOD mojo! It's like an elegant chocolate
after-dinner mint. The kids loved it and so did we.


Sidonia Martinez of Clif apologized profusely for the
revolting Mojos (just kidding), and put Luna's best food forward!


Clif had the only shuffleboard at the show!

Actually, we think it was a garbage chute for the Mojos! :-)

Visit ClifBar.com -- and try their delicious new flavors!
(except for...well, never mind...)



Yowch! Gimme Some NutCreems!

James Rauls suffered from migraines for many years...until he realized he had a serious dairy allergy. A self-described ice cream-aholic, he did quit dairy, but missed his favorite frozen dessert.

So he created FreeZees -- frozen desserts made with cashews. Holy Mary Mother of Jesus! These desserts are TRULY decadent!


Worshipping at the shrine of NutCreem!

These have great ingredients, high fiber, and low sugars. Along with their incredible taste, what more could you ask for! Check your local health food store for availability.

Visit their website at: Freezees.com



I think he's been taking Miracle-Gro, not Miracle Greens!


Another new entrant into the soymilk and soy pudding market is Belsoy. They've been around for a billion years in Europe, and are now coming to the New World.


Gardenburger hits one out of the park with their new Breakfast Sausage product! The best breakfast sausage we've tasted yet. Should be out in April.

Two thumbs and ten toes way up!

Gardenburger.com



Caffeine-free "chocolate"

Sabrina liked, but the kids didn't.

Jeff didn't taste; he thought seeing the kids spit it out was not a good sign!



Pamela's Chocolate Brownie Mix

One of Sabrina's favorite mixes.


Nelson kids gave Pamela a free ad around the show!

And here's a plug for her website: PamelasProducts.com



Aren't Canadians the friendliest people?

They're always smiling! 'Course, they might just be tasting their own Happy Planet Juices, which put some big smiles on our faces, too.

They had a great Canada Quiz they were asking people to take, with questions like, "Who is the current Prime Minister of Canada?" Gary Trudeau, right??

Learn more at HappyPlanet.com


"Oh, Caaaanada...!"

How did they get this wooden thing past security?!



Mexi-Snax Pico de Gallo Chips are Willie's absolute favorite chips in the world.

After he ate about five sample cups, the Mexi-Snax people decided it would be cheaper just to give him his own bag!


Willie meets his hero, Roman Olmos -- the guy who actually physically makes his favorite chips! For Willie, this was like meeting Paul McCartney.



Cookie girl, Vicki Slotnick (right), and her assistant.

If you attend the VegSource eVent, you'll get to meet Vicki and her cookies in person!


Satan, be gone!

*You* won't be able to resist Organica cookies, either.

Vicki! Where's your website?!



I wonder where the kids went...?

Gambling at that darn Clif Bar game again -- Randa won a t-shirt,
but Nina lost, and got a package of MoJos...



Wanna get juiced?

Roland's non-alcoholic Sparkling Apple and Blackcurrant Juice will do the job.

Roland is a major food company that's been around forever.

RolandFood.com


Imagine Foods Organic Soy Dream Heavenly Pies

Yes, they are!

The kids loved them, we loved them, and judging by the flocks of people surrounding their ice cream cart -- everyone else did too!

ImagineFoods.com


Health Is Wealth Buffalo Wings and Chicken-Free Fingers

Health Is Wealth debuted its "mild" flavored buffalo wings this year. And they're good! (The regular flavored ones are good also.)

HealthIsWealthFoods.com


VRG in Attendance!

Charles Stahler and Debra Wasserman along with their acrobatic son, Samuel, spread the good veg word to conference guests.


Four-year-old Samuel said he's had enough of the conference and won't stand up until they take him to LegoLand!



Heartland Fields Soy Barbecue

Nearly fat-free -- and full of flavor! Heartland makes lots
of meat-replacements (but only had one they were sampling!).

Visit their site at HeartlandFields.com



Lamas Beauty Execs check out the show
(the one on the far left is VP of Baby Shampoo!).

Visit LamasBeauty Vegan Beauty Products



Nina, Randa and Willie discuss how to liberate the hawk. :-)



Just TRY to take this bag of vegan Jerky away from Spice!

Check out Spice's website at
Spice-of-Life.com



Our kids' favorite waffles -- EnviroKidz Chocolate Chip Waffles.

EnviroKidz.com


After a long day of taste-testing at the Expo,
Willie gets to relax at Disneyland with some quiet friends.


Phew! What a long weekend!


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