The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘supermarkets’

sweet potato oven fries

vegan sweet potato chips

A recent study entitled “What are the barriers to eating healthily in the UK?”, led by the Social Market Foundation, concluded that 10.2 million people resident in the UK are living in what the report calls a “food desert”. It defines a food desert as an area where residents have severely limited access to fresh fruit and vegetables, usually in the form of a local supermarket. The findings of this […]

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vegan apple doughnuts with toasted pine nut ice cream

delicious vegan apple fritters with pine nut ice cream

After this year’s long, hot, dry summer in the UK it’s hard to remember that just a few months earlier a spell of snow and severe weather (the “Beast from the East”) closed roads and led to some supermarket shelves being emptied of bread, milk and fresh fruit and vegetables. This loss of stock was due in part to panic buying but also reflected the supermarkets’ own weather-related transport problems. […]

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aubergine, tomato and Parmesan bake

For those who wonder whether consumer pressure ever works, consider this. When I first began writing, several years ago, about the unseen contribution made by supermarkets to the problem of food waste there was already a growing concern amongst various pressure and consumer groups over the issue. At the time, supermarkets were estimated to be responsible for around a third of all food waste in the UK, mainly due to […]

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vegan Vietnamese-style fried rice

vegan spicy fried rice, Vietnamese style

Fewer and fewer of us are cooking our food from scratch. In some cases this may be due to a lack of skills or confidence. In many cases, however, it is down to a distorted attitude to time. We are in the grip of the “convenience” food industry, which encourages us to regard any time we spend preparing and cooking food as time wasted. Anything, it seems, which short-circuits time […]

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broad bean, dill and mozzarella fritters

Around 15 months ago I helped to set up a food waste project in my adopted city, Worcester, UK. Called Worcester Food Rescue, the project comprises a group of extraordinary individuals who each week dedicate some of their own time and energy to collect supermarket food that would otherwise be destined for landfill. The food they collect is then distributed to several local charities. It has been eye-opening to see […]

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garlic, white bean and rosemary soup

It is two and a half years since the introduction in the UK of a 5p levy on plastic carrier bags, and there can be no doubt at all that it has transformed our shopping habits. In that time, plastic carrier bag usage has dropped by over 85%, and most of us now routinely take our own reusable bags when we go shopping. These figures are a convincing argument that […]

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baked potato soup with chive oil

Earlier this year I helped set up a local food waste initiative called Worcester Food Rescue. It consists of a small group of volunteers who collect food from supermarkets and other suppliers which is past its “display by” date but before its “use by” date. The food we collect is then distributed to several local charities. This is one of many similar initiatives across the UK. Without the intervention of […]

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pea and tarragon soup

“Modern distribution and storage methods can significantly increase the time period before there is loss of quality for a product, and it has become increasingly difficult to decide when the term ‘fresh’ is being used legitimately.” The quote above is from an official document published by the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA), setting out the criteria for use of the word “fresh” in food labelling. It’s not surprising that even […]

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asparagus, broad bean and Spring herb tart

If I could encourage readers of this blog into one simple, routine habit it would be this: to read the label on any item of fresh produce before you decide whether or not to buy it from the supermarket or store. I can guarantee that if you are not in the habit of doing so, you will be surprised by what you find. Take asparagus as an example. Those who […]

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chickpea soup with rosemary oil

I gave up my beloved allotment plot, the Circus Garden, last year, after an unfortunate accident that had left me incapacitated for several weeks. It had happened at the worst time of the year, just when I should have been out preparing the ground, sowing seeds and planting crop seedlings. As I slowly recovered from my injuries the weeds, of course, had a field day. Once I began to feel […]

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