The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘genetically modified organisms’

broccoli, pea and chive tart

The Chief Executive of Swiss chemical giant Syngenta warned recently that if the world abandons the use of pesticides and genetically modified crops in agriculture “there could very well be, 10 to 20 years from now, significant issues around feeding the world.” As Mandy Rice-Davies once famously said “Well he would say that wouldn’t he?” Syngenta – already the world’s largest manufacturer of pesticides – is about to merge with […]

Continue Reading →

cabbage, coconut and cumin pakora with coriander relish

Glyphosate is a systemic herbicide widely used in agriculture. In the USA, around 80% of genetically modified crops (GMOs) have been modified to be “Roundup-ready”, in other words to be resistant to the weedkiller Roundup, the world’s most popular glyphosate-based weedkiller. Many of these “Roundup-ready” crops end up in cattle feed, which is not just used in the USA but exported around the world. As a consequence traces of glyphosate […]

Continue Reading →

vegan blueberry fool

There has been something of a brouhaha in the British media recently over the prospect of chlorinated chicken being imported into the UK from the USA under the terms of a putative post-Brexit trade deal between the two countries. Beyond that particularly unsavoury prospect there are plenty of other reasons to be alarmed about the potential impact on British food standards of a UK-USA trade deal. For example, farmers in […]

Continue Reading →

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. […]

Continue Reading →

new potato salad with rocket, lemon and mint pesto

Whilst the eyes of many environmentalists have been focused on the “marriage made in hell” that will result from the takeover of notorious agrochemical giant Monsanto by Bayer, two other equally alarming acts of corporate consolidation are in train. The state owned Chinese chemical company ChemChina is in the process of swallowing up Syngenta in a $43 million deal. Last week, the proposed deal received both EU and US antitrust […]

Continue Reading →

spiced clementines with clementine sorbet

Recently published research in the USA by the University of Virginia has confirmed that the increased use of genetically modified crops (GMOs) by farmers has led to a significant increase in the use of herbicides. Covering a thirteen year period up to 2011, this is the largest study ever undertaken into the impact of GMOs on US farming and the environment. The researchers found that on average farmers growing genetically […]

Continue Reading →

squash, mushroom and chestnut pie

The $66 billion acquisition of controversial US agrochemical multinational Monsanto by the German multinational Bayer will, assuming it passes regulatory tests, come into effect by the end of next year. It has been described rightly as a “marriage made in hell” by Friends of the Earth. The new company will be the world’s largest seller both of seeds and of agrichemicals, holding the intellectual copyright to over a quarter of […]

Continue Reading →

leek, potato and chive cakes with shallot and tomato sauce

This is the time of year when we gardeners like to indulge ourselves by browsing through seed catalogues and deciding what we want to grow in the year ahead. A proportion of the vegetable seeds I will be sowing this year are seeds I have saved from last season’s vegetables, all of them heritage (“true seed”) varieties. Some vegetable seeds are easy to collect, for example beans, peas, tomatoes and […]

Continue Reading →

roast chicory and olive tart

A bizarre, but also deeply disturbing, battle over food labelling has been waged across the USA over the past couple of years. On the one hand are consumer groups who believe US citizens have the right to know whether the food they buy contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs). On the other are the very companies responsible for putting GMOs into food who do not want US citizens to know if […]

Continue Reading →