The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

parpadelle with pea, pistachio and mint pesto

In April this year the European Union (EU) finally decided to introduce a permanent ban on neonicotinoid pesticides, following years of compelling evidence of the serious damage they cause to bee populations. A partial ban had already been in place, but the trigger for the EU’s decision was a report from its own organisation, the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa). The Efsa report confirmed that neonicotinoid pesticides affect not only […]

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vegan strawberry crème brulee

The late American cosmologist Carl Sagan once observed that “national boundaries are not evident when we view the Earth from space. Fanatical ethnic or religious or national chauvinisms are a little difficult to maintain when we see our planet as a fragile blue crescent fading to become an inconspicuous point of light against the bastion and citadel of the stars.” How wise a race we might be if we all […]

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Bombay new potato

Humankind’s relatively recent obsession with the beef burger and with fried chicken has had a huge impact on the world around us. This extent of that impact has been laid bare by a recently published study by Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science. The study, uniquely, set out to look at the distribution of all living things on Earth – plants and animals – by mass rather than population. Using this […]

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broad bean, dill and mozzarella fritters

Around 15 months ago I helped to set up a food waste project in my adopted city, Worcester, UK. Called Worcester Food Rescue, the project comprises a group of extraordinary individuals who each week dedicate some of their own time and energy to collect supermarket food that would otherwise be destined for landfill. The food they collect is then distributed to several local charities. It has been eye-opening to see […]

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asparagus, strawberry and red onion salad

This recipe has been published to mark the start of national vegetarian week. If you’re not already vegetarian, why not give it a try by going meat-free for the next seven days and see how you get along? For those who follow this blog on Facebook or Instagram I will be posting a vegetarian recipe suggestion each day during this week to give you some inspiration. There is a lot […]

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vegan peanut butter and chocolate tart with roast banana ice cream

I recently read an article about a small group of Canadian beekeepers who were refusing to loan out their bee colonies to blueberry farmers in British Columbia. The reason, they explained, was that they were concerned about the impact on the health of their bees of pollinating only one single crop. This news article struck me on two fronts. Firstly, the very fact that bees need to be transported to […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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