Plant-based food festival returns to Coconut Grove (includes video story)

The healthiest week of the year made a comeback last Thursday with the kickoff of the annual SEED Food and Wine Festival, the nation’s premier plant-based food festival. It ran in Coconut Grove from January 26-28, marking its eighth year of celebrating sustainable, plant-based living.

The main event that had the plant-powered community buzzing was the SEED Festival Day Tasting Village held at Regatta Park from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. this past Saturday. General admission was $60 and included unlimited food and drinks. 

Vendors from across the country gathered to showcase the benefits and taste of their plant-based products. Michelle Collins, founding owner of Chelle’s Cutie Pies, a company specializing in vegan and gluten-free Japanese sweet potato pies, expressed her excitement to be at the festival for her second year.

“This is definitely an amazing event,” Collins said. “Plant-based, you have the best of the best not just locally but people coming from all over the U.S., so it is definitely an honor and privilege to be invited back.”

Ranked third in USA Today’s “Top Ten Best Wine Festivals,”  Miami’s signature event has been showcasing the versatility of the plant-based lifestyle since 2014. The festival featured vegan wine and spirits, plant-based food, wellness workshops and live music. Last week’s lineup included the seventh annual plant-based 21 Seeds Burger Battle on Thursday, an immersive dinner hosted by National Geographic Explorer and New York Times Best-Selling Author Dan Buettner on Friday, as well as morning yoga and all-you-can-eat tastings on Saturday, and guided meditation followed by vegan brunch on Sunday.

“It’s not just about the animals, it’s not just about health, it’s about sustainability as well,” said Thandisizwe Jackson-Nisan, a volunteer at Saturday’s festival. “I need to see more events like this all over the country.”

Hawah Ezell is a senior digital broadcasting student with a concentration in criminal justice. She is passionate about social justice and human rights. She plans on pursuing a career in multi-media journalism where she intends to give a voice to the voiceless.