The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘food security’

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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roast potato and thyme stacks

As I write, the UK is less than a month away from leaving the European Union and yet we still have so little certainty about many aspects of our future outside the EU. The “oven ready Brexit” that the Prime Minister promised has – predictably – failed to materialise. Given how dependent we are on other EU countries for the food to feed ourselves, the prospect of crashing out of […]

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pasta with pesto, potatoes and French beans

It was announced earlier this week that about 200 staff at a Herefordshire vegetable farm and packing business had been ordered into isolation on the property after 73 workers tested positive for Covid-19. Not long after this news was reported, stories began to emerge about squalid working conditions on the farm prior to the outbreak. It was claimed, for example, that employees had to work in the farm’s packing house […]

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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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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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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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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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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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