The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘obesity’

roast plums with pistachio crumb

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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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

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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open ravioli of asparagus with pea purée

We live in a world where choosing to eat healthily is becoming more and more of a challenge. Everywhere, it seems, we are surrounded by cheap, processed and unhealthy foods, many of which are causing our bodies harm – it is diet that is the principle cause of conditions such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Treating type 2 diabetes already costs the UK’s NHS a massive £9 billion per […]

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wild garlic oil

If you’re looking for an ethical reason not to eat meat, then it’s hard to better the words of the ancient Greek historian and philosopher, Plutarch who, in his work Moralia wrote: “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” Human beings […]

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broccoli tempura with soy and ginger dipping sauce

For many decades, cigarette manufacturers refused to accept a growing body of scientific evidence which suggested a clear association between their products and diseases such as cancer. With the benefit of hindsight, it now seems extraordinary that anyone should have ever regarded smoking as anything other than an unwise and unhealthy activity. Ultimately, though, it was through decisive governmental action – restrictions on sales, enforced labelling, high taxation, restricted advertising, […]

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