The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘food security’

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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Jerusalem artichoke and roast garlic soup

Traditionally, the onset of winter is the time when those who maintain gardens, allotments and smallholdings settle down with a handful of seed catalogues to decide what to grow next year. David Holmgren, one of the originators of the permaculture system of gardening, once described growing your own food as “a political act”. It is certainly true that those of us who do grow at least some of our own food are a […]

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kale and butter bean fritters

The UK now imports over 50% of the food that we eat, a proportion that has grown steadily over recent decades (in 1987, for example, it stood at 36%). One hidden consequence of this growing reliance on other countries for our food is that as we import more and more food from abroad we simultaneously export more and more of the environmental impact of growing that food. A recent study […]

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portobello and wild mushroom and ale pie

It is something which is at once amazingly powerful and yet incredibly fragile. Without it we would not exist. Indeed, without it there would be no life on Earth. What is it? Soil. The living skin of planet Earth. This thin, fragile layer on the surface of our planet is literally teeming with life. Grab a small handful of soil and what you hold in your hand will contain more […]

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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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damson ketchup

In 1804, the total population of the human race on planet Earth finally reached one billion. It took a further 123 years for it to reach 2 billion. From there, to reach 3 billion took just a further 33 years. It hit 4 billion 14 years later, 5 billion after another 13, and 6 billion after another 12. That was at the turn of the 21st century, and now we […]

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leek tart with hazelnut crust

Many years ago a friend of mine used to wear a tee-shirt emblazoned with a native American proverb. It said, “when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money”. There are some things – food, water, air – that we literally cannot live without, but our lives have become so sophisticated that it […]

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spinach, mozzarella and Parmesan sausages

California, the state known as America’s breadbasket because it provides so much of the USA’s fresh food, is going through its worst drought in a generation. California is used to drought, and its fertile growing region has survived plenty of such droughts in the past. However, what is happening there to deal with this latest challenge is typical of the responses to water shortages in areas of intensive agriculture across […]

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