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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594 Comments
  • wolfieland
    wolfielandTuesday, May 4, 2021 at 6:02 am
    I never ate a pumpkin before but maybe I'll try it out this Halloween.
    • fortnitespeed45
      fortnitespeed45Friday, January 22, 2021 at 5:37 am
      delicious pumpkins
      • pinklilcow
        pinklilcowWednesday, November 25, 2020 at 3:13 pm
        I am never tried it befor i will try mine!
        • flamehearted
          flameheartedSaturday, November 14, 2020 at 12:36 am
          Yummy Pumpkins!
          • dogosci
            dogosciTuesday, October 27, 2020 at 7:31 am
            save the pumpkins!!!
            • ratsunited
              ratsunitedFriday, October 9, 2020 at 6:35 am
              If we can cook our pumpkins, let's cook our candy
              • snakeale
                snakealeMonday, August 17, 2020 at 6:23 am
                but we wont have treat of tricing
                • bsc
                  bscMonday, July 20, 2020 at 6:03 am
                  Wow! Now this Halloween i know how to eat the pumpkin!
                  • 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?