The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘Syngenta’

strawberry sorbet

Not long ago Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company (and several times voted “the world’s most evil corporation”), caused alarm amongst environmentalists by launching a hostile take over bid for Syngenta, the world’s largest crop chemical producer. The bid was ultimately unsuccessful, but it now appears that the proposed takeover was merely a precursor for a much larger feeding frenzy within the agrochemical industry. Monsanto is back in the news […]

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asparagus, basil and sesame wraps

The European Food Safety Authority recently began a review of the temporary ban on neonicotinoid pesticides imposed two years ago by the European Union (EU) in response to evidence about the harmful effect of these chemicals on bee populations. The evaluation is due to be completed by January 2017 and it could lead to the ban being lifted or maintained. Since its introduction, the multinational pesticides manufacturers Bayer and Syngenta […]

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leek, potato and chive cakes with shallot and tomato sauce

This is the time of year when we gardeners like to indulge ourselves by browsing through seed catalogues and deciding what we want to grow in the year ahead. A proportion of the vegetable seeds I will be sowing this year are seeds I have saved from last season’s vegetables, all of them heritage (“true seed”) varieties. Some vegetable seeds are easy to collect, for example beans, peas, tomatoes and […]

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char-grilled baby cauliflower with salsa verde

A law passed by the European Union in March 2015 finally allowed EU member countries to decide on an individual basis whether they wanted genetically modified (GMO) crops to be grown on their territory. The law was seen in some quarters as a way to get round some of the famous Brussels bureaucracy, which had frustrated GMO companies like Monsanto because of the long time it took for the EU […]

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broad bean and coriander falafel

Growing your own food is not only a liberating and fulfilling experience: in a world where so much of our food is controlled by global corporations it is also an act of dissent. Some of the fruit and vegetables that I grow on my allotment plot, the Circus Garden are rare, heritage varieties which, under draconian EU seed legislation, are now illegal to buy and sell. In recent years, the […]

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roasted Brussels sprouts and shallots with lemon and smoked sea salt

This week the Council of the European Union signed off a new Directive which could have huge ramifications for the food we eat. The Directive on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) will come into effect on 2 April. Its stated purpose is to allow Member States to ban or restrict the cultivation of genetically modified organisms on their territory, even if those crops have received EU approval. But at the same […]

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radicchio, carrot and blood orange salad

The human race first began growing crops around twelve thousand years ago and has been farming ever since. For the last 70 years – a mere 0.005% of the overall timespan – our farmers have been using manufactured pesticides. During this latter time period we have also witnessed a perilous decline in our bee population. This is not a coincidence. The European Union is currently half way through a three-year […]

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roast savoy cabbage with miso and sesame

Those of us who grow our own food usually spend this time of year leafing through seed catalogues and planning what we are going to grow in the season ahead. Many of us will also have saved at least some of our own seeds from last year’s crops for sowing this year (I, for example, will be sowing pea, chickpea, tomato, pumpkin, butternut squash, Japanese onion squash, dwarf French bean, […]

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Vietnamese style tofu with pak choi and basil

Last month the global chemicals giant Syngenta applied to the UK government for an “emergency exemption” from a temporary EU ban on the use of pesticides containing neonicotinoids. Thanks in no small part to the activities of environmental protesters and the campaigning organisation 38 Degrees, who delivered a petition of 200,000 signatures to Downing Street, Syngenta eventually decided to withdraw its request just before the cabinet was due to discuss […]

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halloumi cooked in buttermilk, with coriander, lime and chilli dressing

Amongst the many herbs I grow on my allotment plot, the Circus Garden, there is always space for coriander (cilantro), which I sow from seed saved from the previous year’s plants. It is one of the oldest culinary herbs, with records of its use in ancient Greek, Egyptian and Roman cooking. Saving seed to sow again the following year in this way is a natural and traditional activity, although it […]

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