The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

celery with peanut butter and smoked paprika

For many of us, as we head into the new year, this is a time for resolutions. One of the most common involves “doing something” about our diet. I’m not a fan of diets, not least because so much of the diet industry is owned by the same food industry that makes us fat in the first place (for example, Slimfast is owned by Unilever, Lean Cuisine is owned by […]

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cabbage, coconut and cumin pakora with coriander relish

Glyphosate is a systemic herbicide widely used in agriculture. In the USA, around 80% of genetically modified crops (GMOs) have been modified to be “Roundup-ready”, in other words to be resistant to the weedkiller Roundup, the world’s most popular glyphosate-based weedkiller. Many of these “Roundup-ready” crops end up in cattle feed, which is not just used in the USA but exported around the world. As a consequence traces of glyphosate […]

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vegan Indonesian-style fried rice

We are all going to die one day, one way or another, but there is a growing chance that for many of us it will be as a result of the biggest cause of death in the developed world today: so-called non-communicable diseases. These include cancer, heart attacks, strokes and diabetes. And the biggest principal cause of death from non-communicable disease is obesity. According to calculations by the World Obesity […]

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roast squash, quinoa and black chickpea salad

In 2016 nearly 800 million people across the world did not have enough to eat. This was not, however, due to there being insufficient food to go round. Last month the World Food Programme published a report called Counting The Beans: The True Cost of a Plate of Food around the World. It is an eye-opening and uncomfortable read. Using a “global index” of food prices, the report calculates the […]

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mushroom and chestnut ragout with parsnip puree

Seeds are the stuff of life. That is why the increasingly tight grip over the international seeds market by a small group of powerful, unaccountable multinational corporations should cause us alarm. In achieving this market dominance these giant corporations, which include Monsanto, Bayer and Dupont, have enjoyed the support and active connivance of senior politicians. In the USA, for example, nearly thirty states have passed legislation known as “seed-preemption” laws. […]

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roast mushroom tagliatelle with tarragon sauce

For the past few weeks I have been building an “insect hotel” at the project where I work as a volunteer on Saturday mornings, Worcester Old North Stables Community Teaching and Display Gardens. The intention is that the “hotel” will provide a haven for hibernating insects, including solitary bees and solitary wasps, butterflies, ladybirds and beetles. If the end result of my endeavours is half decent I may publish a […]

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baked potato soup with chive oil

Earlier this year I helped set up a local food waste initiative called Worcester Food Rescue. It consists of a small group of volunteers who collect food from supermarkets and other suppliers which is past its “display by” date but before its “use by” date. The food we collect is then distributed to several local charities. This is one of many similar initiatives across the UK. Without the intervention of […]

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aubergine, basil and tomato penne

Last week the UK Conservative Party held its annual conference. Most of the British media’s coverage focused on the various tribulations which haunted the Prime Minister, Theresa May, as she attempted to deliver her keynote speech. But a coughing fit, an interruption by a prankster and a collapsing set weren’t the only causes for embarrassment at that conference. As one newspaper, spotted, the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt managed to deliver […]

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pear and star anise sorbet with pear wafers

I want to tell you a story. It is the story of how we became so disconnected from the food we eat, and it is a story which began a great many years ago. Once upon a time we all shared the land and the fruits it produced. We were hunter-gatherers back then, and we worked cooperatively to hunt, collect and share the food we ate. The concept of land […]

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herb and Parmesan stuffed tomatoes

The UK’s National Health Service is creaking at the seams as it struggles to deal with a growing wave of chronic conditions resulting from poor diet, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, obesity and cancer. Given the scale of this challenge, it is astonishing how many NHS hospitals continue to allow fast food franchises to operate on site. It’s not as if they need to generate more work […]

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