The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘pollution’

Thai-style cucumber salad

Today marks Earth Overshoot Day, the day in the calendar when humankind has already used up the equivalent of a year’s worth of natural resources. It marks our continuing failure to adapt towards a more sustainable pattern of existence. When Overshoot Day was first calculated, back in the mid 1980s, it fell on 19 December. Although in recent years the rate of acceleration has decreased (last year Overshoot Day fell […]

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sweet potato and spring onion latkes

The plastic carrier bag was invented in the 1960s, although it really came into its own a decade or so later as supermarkets gradually came to dominate our shopping habits. Since then our reliance upon it has grown exponentially. Last year, in England alone, we got through a staggering 7.6 billion plastic carrier bags, which together weigh around 61,000 tonnes. Many of these bags end up as litter, much of […]

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yellow tomato gazpacho shots

The switch to industrial-scale, chemical dependent agriculture which began in earnest at the end of the Second World War is often incongruously referred to as the green revolution. At the heart of that revolution was the use of chemicals, and artificial fertiliser in particular, to boost crop yields. It is no coincidence that the green revolution coincided with the end of the war. With the domestic military war effort suddenly […]

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roasted crushed new potatoes

“The corporate model over-produces food that poisons us, destroys soil fertility, is responsible for the deforestation of rural areas, the contamination of water and the acidification of oceans and killing of fisheries. Essential natural resources have been commodified, and rising production costs are driving us off the land. Farmers’ seeds are being stolen and sold back to us at exorbitant prices, bred as varieties that depend on costly, contaminating agrochemicals. […]

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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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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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blood orange and thyme sorbet

Healthy soil is fundamental to successful organic farming and gardening. If the soil is healthy, microbes and other soil organisms will thrive, and in turn will naturally decompose organic matter and harness nitrogen from the atmosphere, converting it into organic form. For the organic gardener there are a variety of ways to create and maintain a healthy soil. Many, like me, rely principally on compost generated from waste vegetable matter. […]

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swede and carrot soup with smoked paprika

Many of the processes that are vital for life to flourish on this planet are dependent on interactions between living things, such as plants and micro organisms, and inorganic entities, such as the air, the oceans and the soil. Collectively, these interactions regulate the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere as well as its temperature, the fertility of its soil and even the salt levels in its oceans. The Gaia Hypothesis, […]

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leek tart with hazelnut crust

Many years ago a friend of mine used to wear a tee-shirt emblazoned with a native American proverb. It said, “when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money”. There are some things – food, water, air – that we literally cannot live without, but our lives have become so sophisticated that it […]

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