The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘supermarkets’

courgette and red onion pakora

We have become complacent. The seemingly limitless process of replenishing supermarket shelves has detached us from the precarious reality of how that replenishment is actually achieved. The UK’s dependence on long, complex food chains has grown as we have become less and less self-sufficient. Today we produce only 60% of the food we consume. For the rest, we rely on imports, of which 79% come from the European Union. In […]

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vegan vegetable hotpot

Most informed scientific opinion now agrees that we are either heading for or already within the Sixth Age of Extinction. For us humans, as well as many other species, this could well mean terminal decline unless we dramatically change the way we live by embracing a balanced, sustainable existence. And of all the human activities that have brought us to the edge of this precipice, it is the way we […]

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bean and vegetable casserole with pistou

I do hope I can tempt you to try my new recipe, a wonderfully tasty vegan comfort food dish – bean and vegetable casserole with pistou. On the subject of succumbing to temptation, I believe it was Oscar Wilde who first said, “I can resist anything apart from temptation”. A recently published study suggests that this is a human failing we all share. Our inability to resist temptation is also […]

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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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