Eating Your Halloween Pumpkin Is Good For Your Tummy And The Planet!

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Pumpkins play a starring role in Halloween activities (Photo Credit: Marines, Arlington, VA/Wikimedia Commons)

With the Halloween festivities over, most people will spend the next few days taking down the spine-chilling decorations and tossing the pumpkin Jack-o’-Lanterns, or scary monsters, that they spent hours creating. While the millions of gourds that end up in landfills every November is alarming, even more so is the massive amount of food waste generated since most people fail to take advantage of the fruit’s edible flesh and seeds.

A recent study, commissioned by German food and beverage company Knorr, estimated that the 18,000 tons of edible pumpkin innards, from the 8 million pumpkins thrown out in the UK each year, was enough to make pumpkin pies to feed the entire country. The numbers are even more alarming in the US, where over 1.3 billion pumpkins end up in landfill each year. Things are no different in Canada. While the pumpkin harvests draw thousands of people to farms all over the country, farmer Rob Galey believes most buyers only use the fruit for fall decoration, not to eat.

The amount of pumpkin waste generated in the UK annually (Photo Credit: Hubbub.org.uk)

UK-based environmental waste charity Hubbub has been trying to raise awareness of the growing crisis with a fun #PumpkinRescue, campaign. The initiative encourages people celebrating Halloween to avoid throwing away the edible portions of the fruit during carving, and provides tips on how to turn them into a scrumptious soup, a tasty puree, or a lip-smacking pie. Since the effort began in 2014, the group has reached over 12,200 people through 199 workshops and “saved” the innards of over 17,000 pumpkins from the landfill.

Hubbub.org’s #PumpkinRescue gives tips on how pumpkins can be enjoyed (Image Credit: Hubbub.co.uk)

Though Hubbub’s focus has been preventing perfectly good food from being tossed, eating the flesh is also good for our planet. As the pumpkins rot, they release large amounts of methane and carbon dioxide – both of which are greenhouse gases harmful to the environment in such a vast volume. While the U.S. Department of Energy has teamed up with industry experts to try to develop facilities that can convert plant and waste material to biofuels, they are not fully-functional yet. Until that happens, be sure to eat, or at least compost, your decorated gourd. Your tummy and the planet will thank you for it!

Resources: Inhabitat.com, Guardian.co.uk, Hubbub.org.uk

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586 Comments
  • zucojare-156692876543
    zucojare-156692876543Friday, November 1, 2019 at 11:04 am
    I want to know why that would work...because once you carve it with your image, and the candle wax got over the pumpkin you would still eat it
    • hiThursday, October 31, 2019 at 8:34 am
      i have never had a pumpkin spice latte. are they good?
      • baby hThursday, October 31, 2019 at 8:14 am
        i like pumpkin pie and roasted pumpkin seeds
        • hhhWednesday, October 30, 2019 at 5:16 am
          i like pumpkin spice latte
          • RileyLynnWowed Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at 6:56 am
            This is definitely a good article . I’m actually supposed to rewrite this article . And I get bored with some of these articles but this I have to agree was super fun to learn about and I’m definitely trying pumpkin guts this year for Halloween
            • NoraTheHamsterTuesday, October 22, 2019 at 12:28 pm
              My school did a project for this video and we ACTUALLY tried it!! It was AMAZING!!!!!
              • not telling it Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 12:16 pm
                it was very helpful
                • snowalicornThursday, October 17, 2019 at 3:58 am
                  amazing
                  • am-olm1
                    am-olm1Monday, October 14, 2019 at 9:31 am
                    sounds like a win win!
                    • am-olm1
                      am-olm1Monday, October 14, 2019 at 9:31 am
                      It will feed us healthy food!