Here are 5 things you should think about doing for the fall season, have you checked any off your list?
It's already fall, don't miss out on 5 things you should be doing for the fall season.
1. Go to a Fall Festival—Have you ever cooked or tasted vegetables fresh out of farm fields? Butternut squash, zucchini, and of course PUMPKINS are in season and several farms allow you to hand-pick and enjoy them at home. It's never too late to go to a FALL FESTIVAL or PUMPKIN PATCH where you'll get to take HAYRIDE, enjoy FRESH SQUEEZED LEMONADE and pick some seasonal veggies right OUT OF THE FARM. I recently went to a SUNFLOWER festival (my first time) and did all these things. I even got lost through a CORN MAZE...there's a first time for everything. But a friend and I ended up completing it tho(two hours later! Fall is the BEST TIME of the year to explore and try out new activities—I mean the weather is not too hot nor too cold and you get to see the changing vibrant colors nature has to offer.
2. Wear a Funny Vegan Costume—Halloween is actually my FAVORITE holiday!! Since we are already in the month of October I thought it would be perfect to give you guys some COSTUME IDEAS.
SIMPLE and EASY- want to make your own? There are a lot of funny and sarcastic VEGAN-INSPIRED t-shirts that you could pair with anything—a witch hat, a lumberjack outfit, a scary mask, or anything you own in your closet from last HALLOWEEN. It's EASY, INEXPENSIVE, and you can wear the shirt again at any time!
CUTE and SEXY- you got the beyond burger mini dress (pretty basic if you ask me), looks like a burger but you will probably get some laughs.
DRAMATIC/ATTENTION-GRABBER- Dress up as any animal covered in blood while holding a personalized anti-animal-cruelty protest sign(PETA style). You will definitely get a lot of looks and you'll spread a message..
VEGAN FRIEND GROUP or COUPLES -try peas in a pod, or do -it -yourself vegetable costumes. DON'T FORGET there are a lot of FAMOUS CELEBS that are vegan so you can def get creative for yourself or a friend group with this idea!
3. Visit a Vegan Sanctuary—As a vegan, it's SAD TO SAY that I have not gone to a sanctuary yet. It's been on my list of things to do, but I've been super busy with school!! According to the National Turkey Federation, about 45-46 MILLION TURKEYS are slaughtered every year, 39 MILLION COWS are slaughtered and used for butter, milk for desserts and the list continues. Going to a sanctuary as a vegan or non-vegan is a great REMINDER of what we stand for: CRUELTY-FREE EATING and LIVING. Living beings should not have to suffer their WHOLE LIVES for the sake of being eaten when society is able to provide for cruelty-free options. On top of that, the U.S WASTES NEARLY HALF OF FOOD that is bought. Too often we GO DAY by DAY disconnected from what's TRULY IMPORTANT and do not QUESTION and THINK FOR OURSELVES. Why? because of distractions from advertising companies, the government, and other societal forces. What is on your plate MATTERS—HOW it got there, WHAT it is made out of, and HOW it will affect your health. I'm planning to take a trip in November. QUICK TIP: Sanctuaries tend to be far away from major cities because a lot of space is needed for the animals to roam— so definitely plan ahead!
4. Try Out Restaurants with Seasonal Menus—Where can I get pumpkin desserts and ginger-apple tea? I recently went to Harmony Bakery Cafe (LINK)and besides their daily menu, they had FALL INSPIRED foods on the menu. My favorite was definitely the BUTTERNUT-SQUASH PIE stuffed with CASHEW RICOTTA!!! Many local eateries will add special fall dishes because they have the flexibility to do so and the good thing is that a lot of VEGAN RESTAURANTS are local! You'll also find that big-name national chain restaurants will offer FALL-FLAVORED foods but sadly because they are BIG CHAINS the food tends to be very processed and I def STAY AWAY from that. You can also find many fall-flavored foods like FRESH-BAKED DESSERTS at grocery stores. COSTCO, WALMART, BJS, WHOLE FOODS, etc all have their own bakery and fresh-baked desserts in-house. The other day I was SOOO SURPRISED and HAPPY to see that TRADER JOES was selling fresh-baked VEGAN BANANA BREAD! It was amazing by the way, I would definitely recommend checking it out before they sell out. Remember almost ALL vegan products are naturally CHOLESTEROL-FREE and very LOW-FAT, so you don't have to feel guilty indulging.
5. Cook Fall Foods—According to the USDA website here are some FRUITS and VEGGIES that are in season: apples, raspberries, kiwi fruit, grapes, cranberries, beets, celery, carrots, bell peppers, green beans, potatoes, ginger, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin. So what does "IN SEASON" mean? Basically, it means that all the environmental factors (the weather, the region) make it possible for a fruit or veggie to grow naturally. For example, an orange would normally NOT grow in the wintertime in a cold state because the temperature is too cold and would probably freeze. BUT in the summertime, there wouldn't be a problem because ORANGE TREES naturally grow in this climate.
So why is it a good thing to EAT SEASONAL FOOD?
1. If you don't like GMOs-eat seasonal, although GMOs and other AGRICULTURAL TECHNOLOGIES have made it possible to eat fruits and veggies ALL YEAR AROUND. Many people are opposed to GMOs because of human manipulation and their unknown long-term effects.
2. SAVE MONEY-the growing conditions are perfect! Growing foods during their time of the year is optimal so it will not take additional resources to grow or preserve, making the seasonal food a little less expensive than usual.
3. BETTER TASTE -the foods are picked and sold right when they are ready during their time of the year. I'm not sure f this is SCIENTIFICALLY accurate tho...but I know when I pick food off mmy GRADEN—they are DELISH and taste way better than the OFF-SEASON, STORE-BOUGHT ones.
4. ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE-in one study (see below) it states that seasonal foods make LESS Greenhouse Gas Emissions (one cause of climate change) VERSUS UNSEASONAL foods. But it really depends on where your food is coming from. One state or county may use more ENERGY-EFFICIENTpractices/machines (lighting, water, transportation, etc.) than other places. This ARTICLE was actually REALLY INTERESTING—I def recommend if you really like learning the details on food and how it can impact CLIMATE CHANGE.
Hope you learned something new and you get to do more than one thing on this fall vegan starter pack list! Drop a comment if you think I missed anything FALL-related!