The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘sustainability’

turmeric rice and peas

A healthy biodiversity – the assortment of animals, plants, fungi, and microorganisms that comprise the natural world around us – is vital to humankind’s continued existence on this planet. These various life forms work interactively, in ways we do not yet fully comprehend, to form an ecosystem that supports life whilst also maintaining equilibrium between living species. Biodiversity also provides all the fundamental conditions for human existence – oxygen, food, […]

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chocolate, hazelnut and Guinness ice cream

A quarter of the Earth’s living creatures live within the thin layer of topsoil that sits like a skin on the surface of our planet. That topsoil also stores carbon – at least as much as the trees and other plants above ground – which is critical in tackling the climate emergency. And, of course, we rely upon that fragile layer of topsoil to grow virtually all the food we […]

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parsnips with polenta and sage

Long term readers of this blog will know that although I am strongly opposed to the unfolding disaster that is Brexit, I have also been a consistent critic of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Through its complex and costly system of grants the CAP has effectively subsidised intensive farming, exacerbated global food inequality, and favoured large agri-businesses and landowners over small scale and organic farmers. It has also […]

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courgettes with paprika, saffron and oregano

A recent report by the UK’s House of Lords Food, Poverty, Health and Environment Committee has looked, amongst other things, at the disproportionate rates of obesity amongst poorer families. The report has concluded that our current food production and pricing systems conspire to make unhealthy food much cheaper than it should be. Obesity is one of the so-called underlying health conditions that increases vulnerability to Covid-19, as well as a […]

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broccoli steaks with chimichurri sauce

Despite being closely allied to the meat industry, the dairy industry is often overlooked as a huge net contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. A recent report, Milking the Planet, produced by the United States Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), has revealed the shocking scale of combined emissions by the world’s largest dairy corporations. Between them, the world’s thirteen largest dairy corporations produce the same level of greenhouse […]

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storecupboard granola

It was a giant meteor which did for the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. Measuring several kilometers across, the meteor crashed into planet Earth near the area we now know as Mexico. The impact was catastrophic, causing a huge tsunami and sending tons of rubble into the atmosphere, blocking out much of the sunlight for months. In the absence of sunlight, plants began to die. Herbivores, which were dependent on […]

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smoked tofu and mushroom Bolognese

Happy new year! More people than ever have chosen to give Veganuary a try this year. Others, who perhaps aren’t quite ready to take that step, will at least have resolved to reduce their meat intake. It’s encouraging to see so many people willing to challenge and change their food consumption habits, whether it be for health, environmental or ethical reasons, or all three. Sadly, world governments continue to show […]

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Thai green curry

US President Donald Trump often uses the phrase “fake news” to undermine truthful reporting that threatens to expose his own lies. It may be brazen and shocking to many of us, but it is not a new deceit. The food and agriculture industries have been using similar, if more sophisticated, tactics for decades to undermine critics. A wide range of underhand methods are deployed, not only to disguise indefensible practices […]

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broccoli, pea and mint soup

Earth Overshoot Day is the day in the calendar when humankind has used up the equivalent of a whole year’s worth of the Earth’s natural resources. When I began this blog in 2013, Earth Overshoot day fell on 20 August. This year it fell on 29 July. Each year the date gets earlier, solemnly marking our continuing failure to adapt towards a more sustainable pattern of existence. To understand how […]

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frisée, canellini bean and avocado salad

canellini bean and avocado salad with smoked paprika and garlic dressing

Farming in the UK began approximately 6,000 years ago with the gradual clearance of forest land to make way for fields for the growing of crops. Over the ensuing centuries, and until the industrial revolution of the late eighteenth century, farming methods and techniques evolved at a gradual pace and remained relatively simple, relying upon sustainable practices and techniques handed down from generation to generation. The introduction of mechanisation, which […]

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