The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘food waste’

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

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

roasted sweetcorn and 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

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

socca pancake with chargrilled asparagus

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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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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apple strudel ice cream

appel strudel ice cream

An astonishing amount of food waste occurs within the link between supermarkets and their fresh fruit and vegetable suppliers. As a matter of routine, perfectly edible fruit and vegetables are rejected before they even reach supermarket shelves simply because they do not conform to standard shapes and sizes. As a grower of fruit and vegetables I have come to love and cherish the knobbly potato, the misshapen pear and the […]

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Thai-style sweetcorn fritters with sweet chilli dipping sauce

Thai style sweetcorn fritters with sweet chili dipping sauce

Tomorrow is the first day of national “Waste Less, Live More” week here in the UK. To mark the occasion I would like to suggest the following ten point checklist to help reduce unnecessary personal food waste, which on average amounts to a quarter of all the food we buy. Reducing our individual food waste is not only ethically right, it also helps save money and reduces the environmental impact […]

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smoked paprika tagliatelle with asparagus and wild garlic pesto

smoked paprika tagliatelle

This week’s recipe combines two flavour-packed delights of early Spring, asparagus and wild garlic. Asparagus is at its best right now whereas wild garlic is already heading towards the end of its short but prolific season. If, like me, you are fortunate to be able to forage for wild garlic locally, please only ever pick the leaves not the whole plant, and always take only what you need. On reflection, […]

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rosemary and pine nut semifreddo

rosemary and pine nut semifreddo

As the weather continues to warm up, the new season’s array of herbs are sprouting up in my greenhouse and all over my allotment plot, the Circus Garden – mint, oregano, chives, parsley, French tarragon, horseradish, basil, coriander, lemon thyme, lemon verbena and fennel, alongside more unusual varieties like blackcurrant sage, lemon basil and basil mint, each offering a range of different culinary possibilities. But one herb has always been […]

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