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Free From Festival, Oxford

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Last weekend I attended the Free From Festival, held in the magnificent Oxford Town Hall.
I wish I had discovered this festival years ago!

My wheat allergy began in 2001 and it was tough. I was a student and on the day of my diagnosis I’d eaten toast, pasta and pizza. My cupboards were full of food I could no longer have and I had no idea where to start. It was so frustrating to find that my favourite foods contained a tiny bit of wheat including crisps and chcolate bars. My frustrations continue to this day…
Some brands have made an effort to make wheat free versions and the labelling is very clear (unlike vegan products!). I get so excited when supermarkets bring out new things and then despair quickly follows as I discovered wheat used, usually as a thickener when other flours would be just as good!
Just like with my visit to VegFest last month, I found myself repeatedly double checking that things were wheat free (and so many were vegan as well). I really couldn’t believe the wonderful range that the stall holders had available!
Excitedly, I sampled some delicious crackers, sweet and savoury snacks (my downfall!)

One stall had fake sausage rolls and I tried some vegan meats including kebab and garlic sausage, neither of which I had tried before going vegetarian 20 years ago so I had no idea what to expect but was pleasantly surprised.

Sustainability was also on the agenda at the festival. Much of the packaging was easy to recycle and some brands aims to replace single use plastics.

I arrived as the event began and was a little disappointed that not all of the stalls were set up. Some stalls seeemd to have a small amount of space so they quickly became crowded especially if they had popular products such as these chocolate donuts…

The next Free From Festival is being held in London on Monday 27th May 2019 and I would recommend a trip if you have allergies or are looking for more information about great tasting products!

*I received a press ticket for this event

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16 comments

  1. Looks like a great event that could be helpful to many. I have no food allergies and am not vegetarian at this time, but I have developed lots of recipes for friends with allergies and to suit my “part-time vegetarian” diet. When I was vegetarian, I did not eat the faux vegan meats. I’m into sustainable, local, organic, whole foods and use few convenience foods (example: I use canned tomatoes, but not canned pizza sauce or pasta sauces). Speaking of pasta, it’s wonderful that there are so many really good gluten-free pastas available now. #Global Blogging

  2. That festival sounds wonderful! I recently have changed my diet to try to lower my (very high) cholesterol. I do not want to begin taking medications, so I am now on a very low-fat diet. As you can imagine, red meat is out. I still eat seafood and a little low-fat yogurt, but switched to almond milk and other non-animal products. I need any help I can get with Information on what is good to eat!

  3. Sound like a fantastic event! I am on the look out for food options too as I’ve recently developed an allergy for shellfish. Call it a blessing! I have always wanted to go vegan but lacked the willpower. Now I will have to eliminate shellfish from my diet. Baby steps!

    #GlobalBlogging

  4. You brought back memories of my years in Oxford many moons ago now. I like any event with stalls to be honest and especially one where I can learn stuff. #GlobalBlogging

  5. That looks (and sounds) fantastic, and what a venue! Wheat is in so many products and most of us don’e even know what ingredients our food contains these days – so such specialist fairs are really great 🙂 #globalblogging

  6. It excites me that some of these companies are looking to use sustainable products. We really need more of that if we want to help heal our planet (which I really hope can be done). I like the look of the food too. I would go just to try the food! #GlobalBlogging

  7. It was around 2004 our youngest was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance, we had to get his food on prescription as there was so little around other than just cutting out everything with gluten in it, which wasn’t always possible. #globalblogging

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