The Conscious-Food Festival

29 Oct, 2018 | Marie de Lantivy

Going Out and Food

Photos: Marie de Lantivy and Honor Scott

Healthy eating and sustainability find a champion in La Paz

On 6 October, the fifth annual Festival de Comida Consciente took place in La Paz’s Plaza Villarroel. Organised by La Casa de les Ningunos, a communitarian project founded in 2012, the food festival is part of the Programa Integral de Comida Consciente (PICC), a wellness programme which includes a series of initiatives that the La Casa de les Ningunos organises.

PICC spokesperson Maira Peters explained the idea behind the festival: ‘We chose to talk about food, because it is part of our everyday life, everybody is concerned and it affects everyone.’ The festival started six years ago with just a handful of vendors, but now that more and more Bolivian companies are using organic, locally-sourced and sustainable products, the number of participants has grown exponentially.

With more and more Bolivian companies using organic, locally sourced and sustainable products, the number of festival participants has grown exponentially.

The PICC’s purpose is to promote sustainable food systems and healthier eating, in addition to raising awareness of animal exploitation, responsible consumerism, climate change, food security and sovereignty and Bolivia’s gastronomical heritage. Businesses or initiatives that conform to these these principles are welcome to join the PICC.

At the festival, there were over 100 vendors, most from the La Paz area and the Yungas, but some from regions as far-flung as Tarija. All offered vegetarian, locally-grown and tasty food options such as pizzas, tucumanas, coca ice cream, tacos, red velvet cake and more. La Paz’s restaurants and cafes were heavily represented, but small-scale initiatives from altiplano villages were also in attendance. Even some kallawayas, traditional Andean healers, were present. There were also cosmetics stands and local fruit and vegetable producers sold their products.

The variety of options is what gives the gathering such strength. As Peters said, it’s essential that everybody is included and has a space to express themselves. And although all animal products would ideally be avoided in any ‘conscious food’ festival, the offerings weren’t strictly vegan. ‘I think some of the stands use cheese,’ Peters said. ‘It’s OK. Everybody is welcome here.’ And the prices were affordable, something that Peters insisted on. ‘People have this image that “healthy” food is more expensive,’ she said. ‘We want to show that it is accessible to all, which is why prices have to remain low for this type of event.’ Indeed, main courses cost only Bs20 to Bs25, and snacks and desserts were even cheaper.

‘People have this image that “healthy” food is more expensive. We want to show that it is accessible to all.’

—Maira Peters

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For those who don’t want to wait a year for the next festival, La Casa de les Ningunes organises a traditional (but vegan) Bolivian apthapi every month. It also offers yoga classes and workshops on conscious foods and other related topics.

For more information, go to


16 Jan, 2019 | 02:54
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16 Jan, 2019 | 02:55
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12 Feb, 2019 | 07:18
Great post. Liked it. Thanks a lot for sharing the information about the food festival. I n my opinion these type of initiatives are really needed today. Because people need to know about it. By conducting food festivals like this we can give lot of information to people. And it would definitely attract many people. Food is one of the basic needs in our lives. We cannot live without food. It is part of our everyday life. Of course people are more concerned about it. And it indeed affect everyone. Here you have started the festival six years ago with a handful of vendors. But today it is reached to next level with more and more Bolivian companies are using organic locally sourced sustainable products, the growth is amazing. This exponential growth show that how it affected the society. And how it affected the people. It is really great. This is what we need today. Healthier eating and sustainable food systems are so relevant today. We need to understand the importance of these things. There are a lot of people who do not have much idea about it. These festival is a good for them to understand the importance of healthier eating and other things. Animal exploitation, climate change and food security are the most important issues in our society. I think it is the high time to think about it these issues. Because it is affecting our lives also badly. People need to get awareness and they should understand the it properly. So this food festival is great initiative. I think there is a need to more initiatives like this. It would definitely make a good impact in the society. Really glad to read this post. It is so important today. Thanks once gain for sharing. And keep it the work. keep sharing more good posts like this.

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