The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘European Union’

kadhai paneer

The Covid-19 pandemic has been disastrous at a political as well as a personal level. Economies the world over have tanked badly thanks to the impact the virus has had. But here in the UK, in one respect at least, it has provided a fig leaf for the UK government, which was elected on a promise to “get Brexit done”. Some prominent government supporters have been suggesting the pandemic is […]

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parsnips with polenta and sage

Long term readers of this blog will know that although I am strongly opposed to the unfolding disaster that is Brexit, I have also been a consistent critic of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Through its complex and costly system of grants the CAP has effectively subsidised intensive farming, exacerbated global food inequality, and favoured large agri-businesses and landowners over small scale and organic farmers. It has also […]

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broccoli steaks with chimichurri sauce

Despite being closely allied to the meat industry, the dairy industry is often overlooked as a huge net contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. A recent report, Milking the Planet, produced by the United States Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), has revealed the shocking scale of combined emissions by the world’s largest dairy corporations. Between them, the world’s thirteen largest dairy corporations produce the same level of greenhouse […]

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roasted asparagus with almonds

Our attention has been focused intently for the last few months on the Covid-19 pandemic. A huge amount of money has been spent trying to stem the spread of the virus and in shoring up the floundering world economy. Where has all this money come from? After all, it was only a few months ago that the UK Prime Minister resorted to crowdfunding to try to pay for Big Ben […]

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carrots and butter beans with carrot top pesto

So, finally, at 11pm last night the UK officially left the European Union. Half of this bitterly divided country rejoiced at this seminal moment whilst the rest of us looked on, bewildered by this celebration of what we see as an act of national self-harm. At least Big Ben failed to “bong”. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s crowdfunding effort failed to deliver this element of the celebration (how is it, incidentally […]

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spiced aubergine with chickpeas and wilted spinach

At last, some good news: last week the governments comprising the European Union (EU) voted to ban the agrochemical thiacloprid, which is produced and marketed by the global chemical company Bayer. Thiacloprid is one of a group of neonicotinoid pesticides, all of which are strongly linked to the collapse in worldwide bee populations. In reaching its decision the EU stated that it was also concerned that thiacloprid had now found […]

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courgette and red onion pakora

We have become complacent. The seemingly limitless process of replenishing supermarket shelves has detached us from the precarious reality of how that replenishment is actually achieved. The UK’s dependence on long, complex food chains has grown as we have become less and less self-sufficient. Today we produce only 60% of the food we consume. For the rest, we rely on imports, of which 79% come from the European Union. In […]

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vegan Irish stew

Not for the first time, the US ambassador to the United Kingdom, Woody Johnson, last week insisted that the UK must lower its food standards if it wants to trade with the USA post-Brexit. In an article for the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Mr Johnson referred to our existing food regulations as coming from the “European museum of agriculture” before he put forward an unconvincing case for the virtues of chlorinated […]

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vegan vegetable hotpot

Most informed scientific opinion now agrees that we are either heading for or already within the Sixth Age of Extinction. For us humans, as well as many other species, this could well mean terminal decline unless we dramatically change the way we live by embracing a balanced, sustainable existence. And of all the human activities that have brought us to the edge of this precipice, it is the way we […]

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kale and sweet potato soup with horseradish cream

I eat soup most of the year round, but during the dark, cold nights of midwinter it becomes more out of a necessity than choice. This seasonal, hearty and nutritious kale and sweet potato soup really hits the spot. All of the ingredients in this recipe are organic and free from artificial chemicals, which is more than can be said for much of the food we consume in the UK. […]

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borlotti bean cassoulet

vegan cassoulet of borlotti beans, carrots and celery

The UK’s level of self-sufficiency is in long-term decline. We now produce just over half of the food we consume. Of the shortfall, nearly three quarters is currently made up of food imported into the UK from the European Union (EU). Climate change related uncertainties – highlighted by scorching temperatures and insufficient rainfall over this year’s long hot summer – are an additional food security concern. Some UK crops were […]

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spicy roast cauliflower with hummus and pomegranate

hummus with pomegranates and pine nuts, spicy cauliflower and halloumi

It is now three years since the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that glyphosate, the key ingredient of the popular weedkiller Roundup, is “probably carcinogenic to humans”. In response, Monsanto (the manufacturers of Roundup) has set about trying to discredit the WHO’s findings by, for example, setting up and funding numerous research projects, each of which, unsurprisingly, has gone on to conclude that Roundup is safe. Safe or not, glyphosate […]

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