May 9, 2011

The Vegan Bakesale Sale & a Food Allergy Lifestyle Reminder Learnt the Hard Way

On Saturday I skipped into town to explore the Vegan Bake Sale in the Dublin Exchange (Dublin’s contribution to the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale 2011). I knew that the venue was on the smaller side so the sale wouldn’t be massive but I was surprised at the 3 tables which totalled the sale. Dublin needs more Vegans!! Despite this surprise there were still plenty of very yummy things on offer at VERY affordable prices - Like a moist slice of Chocolate Banana Bread for 50c or a delicious puff pastry with fruits for €1! There were cakes, brownies, cookies, chocolate squares, coconut buns and I know not what else.
So yes, despite the seemingly small venue on Saturday this beggar certainly had the luxury of being a chooser too! There were comfy couches to sit in while you enjoyed your eat-in baked goods and sipped your tea or coffee which was cooled down with rice milk. On the whole there was a good vibe at the sale which was heightened by the regular Saturday market in Cow’s lane which spills over to the Exchange’s front door.
The Dublin Exchange is a collective arts venue so there was an exhibition in the side room and the bake sale area was shared with what seemed to be a ?weekly? arts and craft sale. One of the tables which were part of the arts & craft element was also selling baked goods. What I didn’t know (and dread to think of how many other people didn’t know) was that these baked goods had nothing to do with the vegan bake sale, were not vegan, and had no sign stating as much. In retrospect I should have been more suspicious because I had noticed that the signs which labeled the food at this table didn’t sport the Vegetarian Society logo and there were no ingredient lists like at the other three tables. But then again, it was a ‘vegan bake sale’ so I lured myself into a false sense of security. Mixed with this security and possibly hope (the mind is SO strong...and so weak) I opted for their lemon tart... which tasted truly amazing.

I read somewhere just last week that old and valuable saying: ‘if it seems too good to be true it probably isn’t as it seems’. I hate having to take that attitude and having to be so distrustful of people but truer words have seldom been spoken. I was already beginning to feel my ears clogging up and was becoming slightly curious as to what set it off. I was really savouring my tart and marveling at the consistency and taste… still not putting two and two together until a friend came up grinning about the vegan quiche he just bought which contained egg, cream and bacon! My face dropped as I looked down at my half eaten tart which was bought at the same table. He said that when the girl beside him heard this she asked for her money back.
At this late point I knew that my tart was definitely not dairy free or egg free. Hell, the quiche wasn’t even vegetarian! I went back to the table on principle alone. They were very apologetic when I told them that I had food allergies. She offered my money back but I said it didn’t matter because it was for charity (in retrospect that portion of the sale probably wasn’t even for charity - doh!). I let my dairy-digesting friend finish my tart and the girl came after us to apologize again because she also has food allergies and found that sort of thing very frustrating (?!). She was quite friendly and I felt bad for being annoyed but geez!! We suggested that they make a sign and so they did, so anybody who went along to the vegan bake sale after about 12:45pm was probably safe…

But don’t let this little story dishearten you or make you angry. The moral of it all is meant to remind you once again that you should NEVER get comfortable in the lap of luxury because it just might stand up (I’m full of proverbs today!-that one is one of my father’s favourites). NEVER assume. ALWAYS ask... EVEN at a vegan bake sale!

After all of this my ears proceeded to get worse and I was afraid of the rest of the side-effects getting a grip on me so I ran off to a healthfood store and bought some chewable vitamin C and dosed myself pretty heavily to counteract the invasion. This being Monday I think that I’m in the clear. I’m still dealing with some extra congestion and a lack of energy and some slightly sore muscles but on the whole I’m just really happy that I caught it so early and got off so lightly this time!
But I don’t want to end on such a negative note! I want to tell you that the puff pastry with fruits was truly scrumptious! I thought that it was a great idea to have the recipes on display because it would encourage people to try a vegan lifestyle if they were new to the concept and give hope to anybody starting out on a dairy free or egg free diet. Also, I should say that I was extra thankful for the baked goods on sale that were vegan because I am in the middle of Campbell’s ‘The China Study’ which is a must read for anybody who cares about their health. I am seriously considering an X on all animal protein.

There is nothing to encourage you to give up even more foods than amazingly tasty dairy free, egg free and meat free baked goods-a-plenty! I will probably never become a true vegan but I sense that my world, as I know it is changing. Once I get my ‘extra’ food allergies under check I will be looking at my diet with a very stern disposition –I just hope that F doesn’t gloat too much!
The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health


Tina said...

Yeah I was briefly at the bake sale on Saturday but I was wary of the lack of signage and I backed away slowly. Damn it why is nothing simple these days... :/

Come to the vegan dark side Aurea...

Aurea@Survival Guide said...

yes, 'lack of signage'.. i'm impressed with your 'doubtful/questioning' instincts ;)
but I hope that it didn't scare you off completely Tina & that you tried SOME of the 'vegan' foods!

sorry i missed you too!