The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘food waste’

vegan strawberry crème brulee

The late American cosmologist Carl Sagan once observed that “national boundaries are not evident when we view the Earth from space. Fanatical ethnic or religious or national chauvinisms are a little difficult to maintain when we see our planet as a fragile blue crescent fading to become an inconspicuous point of light against the bastion and citadel of the stars.” How wise a race we might be if we all […]

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broad bean, dill and mozzarella fritters

Around 15 months ago I helped to set up a food waste project in my adopted city, Worcester, UK. Called Worcester Food Rescue, the project comprises a group of extraordinary individuals who each week dedicate some of their own time and energy to collect supermarket food that would otherwise be destined for landfill. The food they collect is then distributed to several local charities. It has been eye-opening to see […]

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garlic, white bean and rosemary soup

It is two and a half years since the introduction in the UK of a 5p levy on plastic carrier bags, and there can be no doubt at all that it has transformed our shopping habits. In that time, plastic carrier bag usage has dropped by over 85%, and most of us now routinely take our own reusable bags when we go shopping. These figures are a convincing argument that […]

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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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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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Szechuan-style mushrooms with aubergine

Earlier this year the French government introduced legislation making it illegal for supermarkets to throw away food that had gone past its “sell by” date. Under the new law they must now donate unsold food to charities and food banks or face fines. The Italian government recently announced that it is also planning legislation on supermarkets and food waste, although rather than impose fines the proposed law would provide tax […]

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apple and rosemary tartlets

Last Saturday I visited a fruit farm near Newent in Gloucestershire with around twenty others, all of us there with the same purpose: to collect as many apples as we could on the day. This was my first such outing as a “gleaner”. The farmer had kindly agreed to open his orchards to our group of “gleaners” for the day, and between us we harvested three and a half tonnes […]

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sweetcorn and roasted yellow pepper soup

It is estimated that up to half of all food waste occurs between the farmer and the retailer. Much of that waste consists of perfectly edible food which has been rejected by supermarkets for cosmetic reasons – because it is too small, too big, or does not have the ideal shape or desired coloration. But some waste occurs even before that stage. On modern, large-scale farms with mechanised harvesting techniques, […]

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French bean and sesame salad

Although the era of food rationing in the UK is usually associated with the second world war, in fact it was first introduced in Britain in 1917, during the first world war. At the time, German U-Boats were regularly attacking supply ships bringing food to the UK from overseas. So successful were these attacks that at one stage Britain was judged to have enough food supplies to last just six […]

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socca pancakes with char-grilled asparagus, tomato and herbs

I am posting this recipe from the Pays des Bastides in the south west of France, where my wife Sara and I are enjoying a week’s break. France doesn’t have a great reputation for vegetarian food so we are self catering, but that’s fine because one thing France does do in style is its wonderful food markets. The market stalls in the various villages we have visited so far have […]

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