The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘Monsanto’

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 […]

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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 […]

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char-grilled baby cauliflower with salsa verde

A law passed by the European Union in March 2015 finally allowed EU member countries to decide on an individual basis whether they wanted genetically modified (GMO) crops to be grown on their territory. The law was seen in some quarters as a way to get round some of the famous Brussels bureaucracy, which had frustrated GMO companies like Monsanto because of the long time it took for the EU […]

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vegan pad thai

This week the Soil association launched “Not in Our Bread”, a campaign to highlight the use of wheat sprayed with glyphosate as an ingredient in the manufacture of one of the UK’s principal staple foods. Glyphosate, the key component of the weedkiller Roundup, manufactured by global chemicals company Monsanto, was declared to be “probably carcinogenic” by the World Health Organisation earlier this year. The principal reason why up to a […]

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green pea and coconut dhal

Rice plays a pivotal role in the diet of over half of the world’s population. Without it, many people in Africa and South East Asia would simply starve. But overdependence on rice in the diet comes at a price. Whilst it is rich in carbohydrates, rice is also poor in nutrients, and relying upon it as a principal food source can lead to vitamin A deficiency. In children under the […]

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broad bean and coriander falafel

Growing your own food is not only a liberating and fulfilling experience: in a world where so much of our food is controlled by global corporations it is also an act of dissent. Some of the fruit and vegetables that I grow on my allotment plot, the Circus Garden are rare, heritage varieties which, under draconian EU seed legislation, are now illegal to buy and sell. In recent years, the […]

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sweet potato, turnip and chickpea hash

It’s Spring, at last, and the days are gradually getting longer and warmer. In the UK, the clocks go forward tomorrow and the Easter bank holiday is just a week away, a traditional time for many of us to start thinking about our gardens and allotments. One of the first jobs to tackle will be the weeding: as always it is the weeds, nature’s opportunists, which have stolen a march […]

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roasted Brussels sprouts and shallots with lemon and smoked sea salt

roasted Brussels sprouts and shallots with lemon juice and smoked sea salt

This week the Council of the European Union signed off a new Directive which could have huge ramifications for the food we eat. The Directive on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) will come into effect on 2 April. Its stated purpose is to allow Member States to ban or restrict the cultivation of genetically modified organisms on their territory, even if those crops have received EU approval. But at the same […]

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radicchio, carrot and blood orange salad

The human race first began growing crops around twelve thousand years ago and has been farming ever since. For the last 70 years – a mere 0.005% of the overall timespan – our farmers have been using manufactured pesticides. During this latter time period we have also witnessed a perilous decline in our bee population. This is not a coincidence. The European Union is currently half way through a three-year […]

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rhubarb tart with star anise ice cream

An unavoidable challenge for any gardener is the problem of what to do about weeds, by which I mean plants which grow persistently in places you don’t want them. For me, weeding is a pretty routine task on my allotment plot, the Circus Garden, but for one of the other plot holders on my site it is something of a special occasion. On the days he tackles his weeds he […]

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