2020 Boston Veg Food Fest

Watch the virtual 2020 FoodFest, with celebrated experts in the world of plant-based nutrition, culinary arts, sports, pandemics, and sustainable, animal-friendly living:

2020 FoodFest Order of Presentations

  1. Enes Kanter with Juliet Pennington
  2. Columbus Batiste, MD
  3. Scott Jurek and Bryant Jennings
  4. Jonathan Balcombe, PhD
  5. Colleen Patrick Goudreau
  6. Steven Wise
  7. T. Colin Campbell, PhD
  8. Peter Singer
  9. Julieanna Hever
  10. Neal Barnard, MD
  11. Cheri Ezell
  12. Abioseh Cole
  13. Casey Taft, PhD
  14. Toni Okamoto
  15. Miyoko Schinner
  16. Rep. Jack Patrick Lewis
  17. Stephanie Harris
  18. Michael Greger, MD

Jonathan Balcombe, PhD – is a biologist with a PhD in ethology, the study of animal behavior. He is the author of four books on the inner lives of animals: Pleasurable Kingdom, Second Nature, The Exultant Ark, and What A Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins–a New York Times best-seller now available in fifteen languages. His next book for grown-ups, Super Fly, will be published May 2021 by Penguin Books. A children’s story book about a boy and a fish is also scheduled for publication in 2021. Jonathan does professional editing for aspiring and established authors, and he has taught courses in animal behavior and sentience for the Viridis Graduate Institute, and Humane Society University. Jonathan will share an overview of fishes, their surprising capabilities, and why we all do better to protect and respect than to eat them. Jonathan joins us from Ontario. Learn more.

Neal Barnard, MDwill speak on the topic of his latest book, Your Body in Balance: The New Science of Food, Hormones, and Health. Dr. Barnard is president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, founder of the Barnard Medical Center, an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine, and a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. His federally funded diabetes research revolutionized the nutritional approaches to type 2 diabetes, and he now aims to empower readers with life-changing information on hormones and health. He has written more than 19 books on nutrition and health. Dr. Barnard joins us from Washington, DC.

Columbus Batiste, MD – is a board-certified Internist, Cardiologist, and Interventional Cardiologist, and since 2008 is Chief of Cardiology at Kaiser Permanente Riverside and Moreno Valley Medical Centers. Having performed over 2000 coronary interventions and hundreds of pacemaker implantations, Dr. Batiste set out to break the cycle of increased medications and recurrent procedures and promote a long-term solution for his patients through plant-based nutrition, stress reduction, and exercise. He led in establishing the Integrative Cardiovascular Disease Program with the objective of preventing the re-occurrence of major adverse cardiac events in patients who have been diagnosed with a cardiovascular disease. Dr. Batiste joins us from California.

T. Colin Campbell, PhD – will speak on “COVID-19 and the Plant-Based Diet.” He is Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, a world-renowned nutrition researcher, and author of several noteworthy books on nutrition. His The China Study is one of the most comprehensive studies of health and nutrition ever conducted, recognized by The New York Times as the “Grand Prix of epidemiology.” His newest book, The Future of Nutrition: An Insider’s Look at the Science, Why We Keep Getting It Wrong, and How to Start Getting It Right, will be released in December, 2020. He is the founder of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and the online Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate in partnership with eCornell. Dr. Campbell joins us from New York State.

Abioseh Cole also know as Sky Raven The Vegan Poet, is a hip-hop artist, producer and recording engineer, animal advocate, vegan blacktivist, raptivist, and teacher. He will share a reading of his poem I Am Not Food, which has been made into a board book for children. Abioseh has studied at University of Ghana and Hartford Conservatory of Music and works in the field of finance. He joins us from Connecticut.

Cheri Ezellhear about the change of heart that made this former cow and goat dairy farmer become a vegan farm animal rescuer and co-founder of Maple Farm Sanctuary. Cheri and husband Jim are the subjects of the moving documentary Peaceable Kingdom that chronicles their story of transformation, changing the heartache of witnessing what happens to animals in the dairy business to the satisfactions of a no-kill life of providing safety and loving care to animals in need. Watch Peaceable Kingdom online for free. Cheri joins us from Massachusetts.

Michael Greger, MD
– is a physician, New York Times best-selling author, and internationally recognized speaker on a number of important public health issues. He has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, among countless other symposia and institutions; testified before Congress; appeared on national TV shows, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. He is the author of six books, three of which became instant New York Times Best Sellers. His new release is How To Survive a Pandemic. His nonprofit NutritionFacts.org is the first science-based, non-commercial website to provide free daily videos and articles on the latest discoveries in nutrition. Dr. Greger’s most recent scientific publications explore the public health implications of industrialized animal agriculture.

Stephanie Harris – will speak on “COVID-19 and Animals: How is our treatment of animals linked to future global pandemics?” With a decade of experience in animal protection, as Senior Legislative Affairs Manager for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Stephanie works to develop and advance their legislative campaigns. Stephanie recently lead in the research and publication of an in-depth White Paper on the root causes of zoonotic diseases and the industrialized animal farming and wildlife trafficking industries that put humans and animals in the most danger of pandemics. Stephanie joins us from Massachusetts.

Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT –  The Plant-Based Dietitian, has a BA in Theatre and an MS in Nutrition, bridging her biggest passions for food, presenting, and helping people. She has authored five books, including her recent release The Healthspan Solution: How and What to Eat to Add Life to Your Years, Plant-Based Nutrition, and The Vegiterranean Diet, and two peer-reviewed journal articles on plant-based nutrition for healthcare professionals. She was the host of What Would Julieanna Do?, gave a TEDx talk, and instructed for the eCornell Plant-Based Nutrition Certification Program. She has appeared on national TV, and speaks and consults with clients around the globe. She will speak on “How to get started on a plant-based diet.” Julianna joins us from California.

Bryant Jennings – vegan since 2013, Bryant has achieved world-class status as a heavyweight boxer. He is featured in the James Cameron documentary The Game Changers, which chronicles elite athletes, special ops soldiers, visionary scientists, cultural icons, and everyday heroes, who gain optimal physical performance and true strength with a fully plant-based diet. Bryant joins us from London.


Scott JurekWorld-renowned ultra-marathon champion, international & NY Times best-selling author, featured in the recent James Cameron documentary The Game Changers, Scott has been 100% plant-based since 1999, which he credits for his endurance, recovery and consistent twenty year racing career. He has claimed victories in nearly all of ultra-running’s elite trail and road events including the 153-mile Spartathlon, the Hardrock 100, the Badwater 135-Mile Ultramarathon, and the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, which he won a record seven straight times. Scott set a speed record on the Appalachian Trail, averaging nearly 50 miles a day over 46 days, and set the U.S. all-surface record in the 24-Hour Run with 165.7 miles: 6.5 marathons in one day. His recent memoir Eat & Run is a NY Times best-seller, and he stars in Born to Run. Scott Jurek joins us from Colorado.

Enes Kanter – Center for the Boston Celtics and former member of the Turkish National Basketball Team, chats with Juliet Pennington of the Boston Globe about Enes’ recent exploration of the impacts of animal agriculture (raising animals for food) on the environment, climate change, industry workers, and the animals themselves, and how this has set him on a journey to change his own diet. Enes just recorded this heartfelt PSA for Mercy for Animals, which includes images of the conditions for animals on today’s industrial farms. Enes joins us from Massachusetts.

Jack Patrick Lewis – Massachusetts State Representative, co-founder of the Animal Welfare Caucus at the Mass State House, Representative Lewis is lead sponsor on a number of animal protection bills, which he will highlight for us. He has degrees in political science and international relations, studied abroad in Egypt and Morocco, served as a volunteer teacher in Ghana and Egypt, and interned and studied in New Zealand, India and Venezuela. As a community leader and legislator, he has a passion for fighting for a more just world for people and for animals. Rep. Lewis is one of two vegan legislators in the Mass State House, and his district is Framingham and Ashland.

Toni Okamoto – enjoy a food demo and learn tips for shopping and cooking on a budget while minimizing plastic and food waste from the founder of Plant-Based on a Budget, the popular website and meal plan that shows you how to save dough by eating veggies. Toni is author of Plant-Based on a Budget Cookbook, The Super Easy Vegan Slow Cooker Cookbook, and is co-author of the just-released The Friendly Vegan Cookbook: 100 Essential Recipes. Toni co-hosts The Plant-Powered People Podcast, and was featured in the documentary What the Health. Her work has been profiled by NBC News, Parade Magazine, and she is a regular presence on local and national morning TV shows, where she teaches viewers how to break their meat habit without breaking their budget. Toni joins us from California. Follow along using Toni’s Pesto Recipe.

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau – is a speaker, cultural commentator, podcaster, and award-winning author of seven books, including the best seller The Joy of Vegan Baking, and her newest book, The Joyful Vegan: How to Stay Vegan in a World That Wants You to Eat Meat, Dairy, and Eggs. She is host of “Food for Thought” podcast, which has been voted Favorite Podcast by VegNews magazine readers several years in a row. Colleen appears frequently on national and regional TV and radio, including a regular segment on Good Day Sacramento and a monthly spot on NPR affiliate KQED. She has appeared on Food Network, CBS, PBS, and FOX; been interviewed on NPR, Huffington Post, U.S. News and World Report; and published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Epicurious.com and Oprah.com. She recently co-formed a political action committee East Bay Animal PAC. Colleen joins us from California.

Miyoko Schinner – vegan food developer, chef, cookbook author, and CEO of Miyoko’s Creamery, Miyoko grew up in Tokyo when rich and flavorful French cuisine and gourmet cheeses were a huge trend. Her compassion for animals led her to become vegan, and her entrepreneurship led her to create plant-based cheese and cuisine as artistic and decadent as the finest French foods she had loved. Forbes magazine says Miyoko’s Creamery “basically invented the category of artisanal, plant-based dairy cheese and butter.” Miyoko is co-founder of Rancho Compasion farmed animal sanctuary, where she pitches in on farm chores in between leading the remarkable growth of her company. Miyoko is a leading advocate for the right of vegan food products to use traditional meat and dairy terms on their labels because these terms convey how consumers should use the products, and “to stand up for sustainability, for the future of food, for the direction we have to take in order to reverse climate change, save animals, and create a food system that’s equitable for all.” Miyoko joins us from California.

Peter Singer – Australian moral philosopher, tagged by journalists as the “world’s most influential living philosopher,” Peter Singer is often credited with starting the modern animal rights movement with the publication of his book Animal Liberation in 1975, which argues for equal consideration of interests for all sentient beings. He is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and a Laureate Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne. He is co-founder of Animals Australia, the country’s largest and most effective animal organization, and founder of The Life You Can Save, which advances his teaching on effective altruism and doing more to help the global poor. Prof. Singer has written, co-authored, edited or co-edited more than 50 books, and his writings have appeared in more than 25 languages. His new book, Why Vegan?: Eating Ethically was just published on Oct. 20. Professor Singer joins us from Australia.

Casey Taft, PhD – Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine and an internationally recognized researcher in the areas of trauma and the family and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.) He has won prestigious awards for his work in these fields, and has published over 100 journal articles, book chapters, and scientific reports, and has consulted with the United Nations on preventing violence and abuse globally. He sees the prevention of violence towards animals as a natural extension of this work. Dr. Taft co-founded Vegan Publishers in 2013 in order to raise awareness of the vital importance of veganism in creating a more compassionate and just society. They have brought 30 books into the world for adults, children, and cookbooks. Dr. Taft will introduce us to a few of these books. He joins us from Massachusetts.

Steven M. Wise, JD – is a legal scholar who is founder and president of the Nonhuman Rights Project, the only civil rights organization in the United States dedicated solely to securing rights for nonhuman animals, working through litigation, legislation, and education. He has practiced animal protection law for over 30 years, and has taught animal rights law at Harvard, Vermont, John Marshall, and Lewis & Clark Law Schools, and at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. He has authored four books, and is the subject of the 2016 documentary Unlocking the Cage, which follows Attorney Wise in his unprecedented challenge to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans. He joins us from Florida.


Food Fest Speaker Archive: See complete speakers lists going back to 2005.