The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘obesity’

aubergine, basil and tomato penne

Last week the UK Conservative Party held its annual conference. Most of the British media’s coverage focused on the various tribulations which haunted the Prime Minister, Theresa May, as she attempted to deliver her keynote speech. But a coughing fit, an interruption by a prankster and a collapsing set weren’t the only causes for embarrassment at that conference. As one newspaper, spotted, the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt managed to deliver […]

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herb and Parmesan stuffed tomatoes

The UK’s National Health Service is creaking at the seams as it struggles to deal with a growing wave of chronic conditions resulting from poor diet, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, obesity and cancer. Given the scale of this challenge, it is astonishing how many NHS hospitals continue to allow fast food franchises to operate on site. It’s not as if they need to generate more work […]

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cauliflower, pea and paneer curry

The past decade has witnessed a rise of almost 25% in the number of children in England being admitted to hospital to have decaying teeth extracted. To make matters worse, increasing numbers of our children are officially obese by the time they leave primary school (this figure now stands at 20%). If nothing else does, these startling facts should cause us to examine closely what our children are consuming. It […]

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stir fried broccoli with sesame and garlic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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