The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘obesity’

stir fried broccoli with sesame and garlic

stir-fried-broccoli-with-garlic-and-sesame

Perhaps it’s laziness. Perhaps it a belief that we simply don’t have the time. Whatever the reasons, British people have an enduring relationship with fast food, spending almost £30 billion each year on the stuff. A UK Parliamentary research paper, “Barriers to Healthy Food”, published last year suggested that the average Briton consumes 200 to 300 excess calories per day, in large part linked to fast food consumption. Characterised by convenience, […]

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vegetable chow mein

vegetarian-chow-mein

Britain leads the rest of the world in consumption of ready meals. Our trust in the manufacturers of processed foods and drinks would be touching if it was not so harmfully misplaced. Time and again, those processed food and drink manufacturers have been shown to be far more concerned about maximising and protecting their profits than they are about the health of their customers. Their most profitable ingredient is also […]

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griddled plums with thyme, orange and vanilla ice cream

griddled plums with thyme orange and vanilla dressing

According to a 2015 report by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, nearly one in five UK children are obese by the time they leave primary school. That is a shocking and scandalous state of affairs, which to my mind is evidence of a new type of child abuse. Without a drastic change in their circumstances, most of these young children, already obese at age eleven, will go on […]

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yellow split pea and wild garlic tarka dhal

yellow split pea and wild garlic dhal

The recent announcement by the makers of Dolmio and Uncle Ben’s, advising consumers that their sauces should only be consumed once a week, struck me on two levels. Firstly, as the manufacturer was not required to make this declaration, I wondered what could have motivated it to take such a unilateral step. Ever the cynic, I believe this move was less about serving the interests of consumers and more about […]

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rose petal and rhubarb ice cream

rose petal and rhubarb ice cream

What a charmed life companies like Kellogg’s, McDonald’s, KFC, Mars, Nestlé, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have been leading here in the UK. For months they have kept their corporate heads down while all around them there has been a growing clamour for the UK government to introduce a sugar tax on unhealthy products, many of them produced by these self same companies. The government, however, seems more concerned with protecting its […]

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parsnip and chestnut soup with sage oil

parsnip and chestnut soup with sage oil A4

The UK’s world-renowned National Health Service (NHS) is creaking at the seams, in large part because it is spending more and more of its scarce resources on treating chronic conditions that result from poor diet. The NHS diverts far more resources into dealing with the symptoms than it does in addressing the causes. The latter could help tackle the former if we spent more on tackling the problems associated with […]

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sweet and sour glazed carrots

sweet-and-sour-glazed-carrots large

For several weeks now the British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has been waging a dogged and passionate campaign calling for the UK government to introduce a tax on food products containing excessive amounts of sugar. The proposal has the support of the British Medical Association and the National Obesity Forum. On Thursday of this week the campaign was given a further boost by the publication of a report by Public […]

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huevos rancheros

huevos rancheros

Many nations and regions have contributed unique and wonderful styles of cuisine to the world, and in my view the uniqueness of those contributions is something to celebrate. However, as globalisation marches on, interconnecting more and more parts of the world, so it is that our culinary preferences appear to shrink correspondingly, towards homogeneity and mediocrity. How depressing it is, for example, to think that there is a McDonald’s in […]

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chargrilled courgette salad with lemon and basil

chargrilled courgette salad with lemon and basil

Three weeks ago the charity Diabetes UK warned that diabetes “threatens to bring down the National Health Service” unless we tackle the obesity crisis through better food regulation. This warning echoed a similar prediction by the Chief Executive of the NHS, Simon Stevens, who in May this year called for sugar to be taken out of food and fizzy drinks to help tackle the obesity epidemic. He went on to […]

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gooseberry and mint sorbet

gooseberry and mint sorbet

Like it or not, each time we buy food we are, in effect, voting for the type of society we wish to live in. When we buy cheap, processed, subsidised food, or food grown using chemical interventions or exploited labour, we are implicitly sanctioning the processes by which that food ended up on our plate. Cheaper, non-organic food costs less because governments hand out disproportionate subsidies to agribusinesses which rely […]

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