The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

vegan cobnut and chocolate pavé

Here are two interesting facts. Britain exports millions of eggs each year. Britain also imports millions of eggs each year. This is but one example of the inherent illogicality of a globally-focused food industry. Within days of the discovery that eggs in the Netherlands had been contaminated with the pesticide fipronil, seventeen countries including the UK confirmed that they had imported eggs that were affected. Each of those countries produces […]

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aubergine with pomegranate molasses

Real food begins and ends with the soil. In a balanced, organic system, food is grown in the soil and it eventually returns, in the form of composted organic matter, to enrich the soil. For many centuries agriculture has followed this cycle of life and renewal, always looking to work with nature wherever possible. Plants receive nutrients from the healthy soil they are grown in. But modern industrialised farming methods […]

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vegan blueberry fool

There has been something of a brouhaha in the British media recently over the prospect of chlorinated chicken being imported into the UK from the USA under the terms of a putative post-Brexit trade deal between the two countries. Beyond that particularly unsavoury prospect there are plenty of other reasons to be alarmed about the potential impact on British food standards of a UK-USA trade deal. For example, farmers in […]

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stir fried green beans with crispy shallots

When I began this modest little blog four years ago I had two aims in mind. Firstly, I wanted to show that vegetarian food can be delicious, exciting and nutritious. Secondly, the blog would give me a platform for sounding off about those aspects of the food industry that I don’t like – which is pretty much all of it. I had previously decided to become a vegetarian not because […]

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vegan Singapore-style noodles

Climate change brings unpredictability and instability to the environment, a major worry when it comes to growing food. Plants which may once have thrived in a particular region may no longer do so if that region suddenly experiences significant fluctuations in temperature, or becomes subject to flooding or drought. This uncertainty makes it all the more important to our survival to have a wide range of edible plant species available, […]

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cauliflower, pea and paneer curry

The past decade has witnessed a rise of almost 25% in the number of children in England being admitted to hospital to have decaying teeth extracted. To make matters worse, increasing numbers of our children are officially obese by the time they leave primary school (this figure now stands at 20%). If nothing else does, these startling facts should cause us to examine closely what our children are consuming. It […]

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pea and tarragon soup

“Modern distribution and storage methods can significantly increase the time period before there is loss of quality for a product, and it has become increasingly difficult to decide when the term ‘fresh’ is being used legitimately.” The quote above is from an official document published by the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA), setting out the criteria for use of the word “fresh” in food labelling. It’s not surprising that even […]

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asparagus, lemon and basil pasta

A myth that is regularly peddled by GMO (genetically modified organisms) apologists is that a “more efficient” food system is now required to feed the world’s growing population. What is actually required is a halt to the practice of land-grabbing by big agribusinesses (often with governmental collusion) which is continually squeezing small-scale farmers off arable land and replacing food crops destined for local markets with commercial crops destined for export. […]

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asparagus, broad bean and Spring herb tart

If I could encourage readers of this blog into one simple, routine habit it would be this: to read the label on any item of fresh produce before you decide whether or not to buy it from the supermarket or store. I can guarantee that if you are not in the habit of doing so, you will be surprised by what you find. Take asparagus as an example. Those who […]

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