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Hot Topics at U.S. Veg Corp's AZ Veg Food Festival

Eco-activism will be one of the hot topics up for discussion at the 5th annual Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival, taking place February 2nd and 3rd at the Scottsdale Civic Center amphitheater.

Phoenix, AZ, January 26, 2019 --( Eco-activism will be one of the hot topics up for discussion at the 5th annual Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival, taking place February 2nd and 3rd at the Scottsdale Civic Center amphitheater.

The panel on sustainability and the environment will be presented on the keynote Apple Stage on Sunday afternoon. Several highly credentialed academics from Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability are slated to speak, including:

· Shirley-Ann Behravesh, who holds degrees in management, finance, manufacturing engineering and sustainability. Her research focuses on understanding sustainable organizations, their culture, leadership and their goals. She also works in the field of supply chain sustainability, social entrepreneurship and the design of sustainable products including biomimicry.

· Chuan Liao, who is assistant professor in Food Systems. He earned his Ph.D. in Natural Resources from Cornell University. His research focuses on sustainable development, with specific interests in understanding the relationships among land rights, agricultural production, environmental conservation, and human well-being.

· Christopher Wharton, who is assistant dean of innovation and strategic initiatives at ASU's College of Health Solutions and a researcher in the Health Lifestyles Research Center. He is also a Senior Sustainability Scientist and faculty coordinator of the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. His research interests include lifestyle-wide behavior change, voluntary simplicity, plant-based diets, food systems, food waste, screen time behaviors, and active commuting.

· Arnim Wiek, who is an associate professor committed to partnerships with local food entrepreneurs, businesses, governments, non-profit organizations, and community groups. He has worked on a number of international projects and has had appointments at universities in Canada, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Japan.

And just so that the discussion doesn’t become too heavy, the panel will be moderated by comedian Matthew Piccione, who has been living a plant-based lifestyle for ten years. He performs stand-up at numerous veg festivals and comedy clubs. His current comedy show has been running for three years strong. Matthew is also a community advocate and public speaker for non-profit organizations. He enjoys visiting schools to inspire and motivate youth on the topic of veganism.

Another panelist comes from outside college walls: Yolanda Soto is the president, CEO, and first executive director of Borderlands Food Bank, a nonprofit with the mission of helping to feed the nutritiously vulnerable through partnerships with hundreds of community organizations.

The festival will also feature celebrity chef demos, fitness and yoga classes, musical entertainment, a children’s activity center, scores of plant-based vendors, and several other panel discussions on topics such as spirituality, food as medicine, plant-based business, and vegan athletics.

New this year will be the Artichoke Artists Area, situated on the top of a grassy knoll allowing for a panoramic view of the festival grounds. There will also be a showcase of adoptable dogs from the Arizona Humane Society, which will be the beneficiary of the festival raffle.

Admission to the festival is free for children under 10, seniors, and active-duty military. Currently there are a number of ticket specials running for those who purchase in advance. Visit for further details.

The festival is presented by U.S. Veg Corp, an 8-year-old company which sponsors large-scale vegan events across the country. Its flagship event is the New York City Vegetarians Food Festival held in Manhattan every spring. For further information, visit
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U.S. Veg Corp
Sarah Feoli

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