The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘European Union’

pea and ricotta polpette with mint and pistachio pesto

As I write this post it is a week since the momentous decision of the UK electorate to vote to leave the European Union (“Brexit”). In the run up to the referendum both the “Vote Leave” and the “Vote Remain” camps led disgracefully shallow and misleading campaigns. As someone who is proudly European and who sees immigration as a positive cultural influence, I was particularly dismayed at the barely concealed […]

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asparagus, basil and sesame wraps

The European Food Safety Authority recently began a review of the temporary ban on neonicotinoid pesticides imposed two years ago by the European Union (EU) in response to evidence about the harmful effect of these chemicals on bee populations. The evaluation is due to be completed by January 2017 and it could lead to the ban being lifted or maintained. Since its introduction, the multinational pesticides manufacturers Bayer and Syngenta […]

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Tuscan style bean and vegetable soup

When we think of pollinators, we tend to think about bees, but butterflies are another important insect in the cycle of plant life. They pollinate plants whilst searching for plant nectar and, just like bees, their numbers are in alarming decline. In its report “The State of the UK’s butterflies 2015”, the Butterfly Conservation charity has recorded what it calls “major slumps” in the numbers of common butterfly species. The […]

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noodle soup with pak choi and lemongrass

A large proportion of the fruit and vegetables I grow on my allotment plot are so-called heritage varieties. In other words, I can save the seeds from the best of each year’s crop and sow them again the following year and expect to get pretty much the same plant again. Quite a few of the heritage varieties I grow are illegal to buy or sell, not because there is anything […]

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broad bean and coriander falafel

Growing your own food is not only a liberating and fulfilling experience: in a world where so much of our food is controlled by global corporations it is also an act of dissent. Some of the fruit and vegetables that I grow on my allotment plot, the Circus Garden are rare, heritage varieties which, under draconian EU seed legislation, are now illegal to buy and sell. In recent years, the […]

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roasted Brussels sprouts and shallots with lemon and smoked sea salt

roasted Brussels sprouts and shallots with lemon juice and smoked sea salt

This week the Council of the European Union signed off a new Directive which could have huge ramifications for the food we eat. The Directive on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) will come into effect on 2 April. Its stated purpose is to allow Member States to ban or restrict the cultivation of genetically modified organisms on their territory, even if those crops have received EU approval. But at the same […]

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radicchio, carrot and blood orange salad

The human race first began growing crops around twelve thousand years ago and has been farming ever since. For the last 70 years – a mere 0.005% of the overall timespan – our farmers have been using manufactured pesticides. During this latter time period we have also witnessed a perilous decline in our bee population. This is not a coincidence. The European Union is currently half way through a three-year […]

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spinach, walnut and rosemary pesto

The worldwide fishing industry is in crisis. Fish stocks are in steep decline, and are not being replenished anywhere near as quickly as we are plundering them. Rather than respond to the crisis by drastically reducing the overall amount it catches, the industry has instead responded by employing more and more extreme techniques to maximise its haul of the dwindling fish stocks that remain. What is more, it has been […]

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Vietnamese style tofu with pak choi and basil

Last month the global chemicals giant Syngenta applied to the UK government for an “emergency exemption” from a temporary EU ban on the use of pesticides containing neonicotinoids. Thanks in no small part to the activities of environmental protesters and the campaigning organisation 38 Degrees, who delivered a petition of 200,000 signatures to Downing Street, Syngenta eventually decided to withdraw its request just before the cabinet was due to discuss […]

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halloumi cooked in buttermilk, with coriander, lime and chilli dressing

Amongst the many herbs I grow on my allotment plot, the Circus Garden, there is always space for coriander (cilantro), which I sow from seed saved from the previous year’s plants. It is one of the oldest culinary herbs, with records of its use in ancient Greek, Egyptian and Roman cooking. Saving seed to sow again the following year in this way is a natural and traditional activity, although it […]

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