The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

Szechuan-style tofu with spring onion

Following on from the shocking study into insect population decline published by German scientists earlier this year, a newly published study from France has shown a similarly massive fall in bird numbers. The French survey, which looked at data spanning 15 years, found that bird numbers had fallen by a third in that time. Some species, such as the once-common meadow pipit have seen their numbers decline by up to […]

Continue Reading →

wild garlic gnocchi with kale

The proposed merger between US chemical giant and its German counterpart Bayer, otherwise known as the “marriage made in hell”, is slowly but inexorably heading towards completion. It has not, however, been without its problems. The proposed merger has had to negotiate several anti-trust and anti-monopoly regulations in various global markets before it can proceed. Last month, for example, the European Union only gave the $62.5 billion deal its final […]

Continue Reading →

garlic, white bean and rosemary soup

It is two and a half years since the introduction in the UK of a 5p levy on plastic carrier bags, and there can be no doubt at all that it has transformed our shopping habits. In that time, plastic carrier bag usage has dropped by over 85%, and most of us now routinely take our own reusable bags when we go shopping. These figures are a convincing argument that […]

Continue Reading →

beetroot, avocado and pink grapefruit salad

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver attracted criticism recently over his claim that poor people “eat crap” because they “think in a different gear” to the middle classes. His remarks were made in the context of figures revealing that poor children are twice as likely to become obese as rich children, and were themselves taken out of context. He had gone on to say, “what you see is parents who aren’t even […]

Continue Reading →

smoky bean and tomato stew

Since 2010, initially under the guise of “austerity”, the British government has decimated funding for safety inspections within the food industry. Nowhere has the result of these cuts been felt as devastatingly as in the meat industry. 40% of meat hygiene inspector posts have disappeared in the last eight years, along with similar proportions of environmental health officer and trading standard officer posts. Little wonder, then, that we again face […]

Continue Reading →

sesame crusted cabbage and potato cakes

The British Medical Journal recently published a study carried out by the French Sorbonne University and Brazil’s University of Sao Paolo. The study followed a cohort of nearly 105,000 people over a five year period, measuring their consumption of what the researchers called “ultra processed foods” (included in this category are foods such as sugary cereals, ready meals, chicken nuggets, pot noodles, pizza, sliced bread, crisps, biscuits, cakes and sweets). […]

Continue Reading →

Keralan-style banana fritters

I recently returned from a trip across southern India, taking in the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. This was my first trip to India, and after my visit I now understand how difficult it is to imagine or describe this amazing country to those who haven’t been. Apart from the wonderful Indian people, one of the stand-out things for me was the quality of the fresh fruit and […]

Continue Reading →

chard, leek and potato pies

A recently published study by the universities of Newcastle and Glasgow suggest that Type 2 diabetes can be reversed by losing weight and undertaking a healthy diet regime. The trial combined a programme of strict calorie control with counselling, a gradual increase in exercise and a stepped reintroduction of a healthy diet. 90% of those who took part in the trial and who lost 15 kg (30 pounds) or more […]

Continue Reading →

vegan chocolate, olive oil and smoked sea salt sorbet

The chocolate industry is worth over $100 billion per year. Most of that chocolate is manufactured and consumed in the USA and Europe, although the raw cocoa from which is produced is grown thousands of miles away on the west coast of Africa. The biggest exporter of cocoa is the Ivory Coast. When the Ivory Coast achieved independence, back in 1960, a quarter of the country was covered in dense […]

Continue Reading →