The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘meat industry’

sweetcorn ribs

The publication last month of the UK’s independent National Food Strategy was somewhat overshadowed by the United Nations “code red” report on climate change. That is a shame, because there is a lot of positive proposals in the food strategy document. These include using taxation to reduce our salt and sugar intake, maintaining high food standards, improving school education on diet, improving access to good food for the poorest in […]

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smashed cucumber salad

“The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable”. So said UN Secretary General António Guterres as the UN released its damning climate change report earlier this week. Drawing on over 14,000 scientific studies, the United Nations IPCC report provides the most detailed and comprehensive picture of the imminent danger we are in because of man-made climate change and global warming. It is clear now that global warming is […]

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chocolate, hazelnut and Guinness ice cream

A quarter of the Earth’s living creatures live within the thin layer of topsoil that sits like a skin on the surface of our planet. That topsoil also stores carbon – at least as much as the trees and other plants above ground – which is critical in tackling the climate emergency. And, of course, we rely upon that fragile layer of topsoil to grow virtually all the food we […]

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oyster mushrooms char sui

The ancient Greek philosopher Plutarch once explained his reason for not eating meat thus: “but for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh we deprive a soul of the sun and light, and of that proportion of life and time it had been born into the world to enjoy”. In the case of the British intensively reared chicken, that “proportion of life and time” has now been reduced to […]

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broccoli steaks with chimichurri sauce

Despite being closely allied to the meat industry, the dairy industry is often overlooked as a huge net contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. A recent report, Milking the Planet, produced by the United States Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), has revealed the shocking scale of combined emissions by the world’s largest dairy corporations. Between them, the world’s thirteen largest dairy corporations produce the same level of greenhouse […]

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spicy tofu and pea curry

The UK held its most recent general election on 12 December 2019, just seven months ago. In its manifesto, the Conservative Party pledged that in post-Brexit trade talks it “would not compromise” on animal welfare or food standards. That pledge was backed up by statements in the House of Commons. “We will not be importing chlorinated chicken. We will not be importing hormone-treated beef”, we were told just five months […]

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Mediterranean chickpea, pepper and olive stew

Covid-19 is what is known as a zoonotic disease, that is one which is passed on to humans from animals. As such, it is merely the latest in a growing number of zoonotic diseases that have – quite literally – plagued us in recent years. Others include HIV, ebola, zika virus, SARS and bird flu. It is simply too easy, as President Trump is trying to do, to lay the […]

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Thai-style aubergine and shiitake balls with peanut sauce

vegan Thai noodles with spicy vegetable balls

During the 1970s and 1980s, Costa Rica was being cynically exploited by multinational burger companies. These companies, most prominently Burger King and Wendy’s, incentivised native farmers to burn down rainforest in order to create grazing land for beef cattle destined to end up in fast food burgers. Similar exploitative forces are continuously at play elsewhere across the world, most recently in the Brazilian rainforest, as the rapacious beef industry continues […]

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Indian-style vegetable and paneer stir fry

For several decades following the end of the Second World War we really believed that the challenge of feeding a growing population would be solved by chemicals and technology. Now a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has laid bare how catastrophic this belief has proved to be. The IPCC is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change, and in the […]

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chard and butter beans with wild garlic

The meat industry is a staggeringly inefficient vehicle for producing enough food to feed a growing world population. An astonishing 83% of all agricultural land is now devoted to livestock, yet meat produces only 18% of the world’s supply of calories. The imbalance is growing: as nations become richer – in monetary terms – they tend to increase their meat consumption, placing even more strain on finite agricultural land. The […]

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parsnip, cranberry and nut roast

This week’s recipe is for parsnip, cranberry and nut roast, a delicious vegan alternative Christmas dinner. An enormous amount of meat will be consumed, and discarded over the Christmas period this year. Aside from ethical considerations about the slaughter of other sentient life, there is no doubt at all that our current levels of meat consumption are contributing directly to climate change. The government’s own Committee on Climate Change is […]

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crispy aubergine with a hot, sweet and sour sauce

Today marks Earth Overshoot Day, the day in the calendar when humankind has used up the equivalent of a whole year’s worth of the Earth’s natural resources. When I began writing this blog five years ago, Earth Overshoot day fell on 20 August. Each year since then it has moved to an earlier date in the calendar, marking our continued failure to live a sustainable existence on this planet. The […]

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