It is estimated that in the UK up to four million pumpkins are brought to carve and display over Halloween with the edible flesh of these pumpkins being discarded as waste and ending up with most of the
lanterns in landfill. This produces an additional 18,000 tons of landfill waste directly attributable to the Halloween festivities. This, according to the environmental charity Hubbub, is equivalent to 360 million portions of pumpkin pie. The U.S. Department
of Agriculture states that 1.91 billion pounds of pumpkins where grown in the USA in 2014 most of which, as in the UK, where used for carving and then thrown away,
Much of this waste is due to people being unaware
of the versatility of pumpkin flesh as a food or not realising that the fresh discarded when carving the pumpkin can be eaten. It is calculated that in the UK only 33% cook the fresh of the pumpkins they carve out. On this basis, farmers are growing acres
of food just for it to be thrown away. If carving pumpkins save the seeds they can be roasted to make a tasty snack. Separate them from the flesh, wash away the fibrous strands and roast them for a few minutes.
they can also be dry fried.
Click here Pumpkin Rescue 2019 to go to the 2019 Leicester Pumpkin rescue page
While the most common variety for pumpkin grown for Halloween carving in
the USA (the Howden) may not provide as much flavour as varieties grown specifically for eating but still make tasty soups and pies. There are many very tasty squashes and pumpkins suitable for home and allotment growing that can be used to carve different
shaped lanterns these all have flesh high in fibre and beta-carotene that should not be wasted.
To help reduce this waste and save money Love Food Hate Waste (http://ni.lovefoodhatewaste.com/node/4172)
publishes a range of pumpkin recipes such as Gnocchi in Pumpkin and Chilli Sauce, Pumpkin & Butter Bean Broth, Pumpkin ravioli, Pumpkin Tart, Roasted Pumpkin, Roast Pumpkin Lasagne and Coriander Soup. Pumpkin seeds, when
toasted or baked, are rich in potassium and protein. Over 650 recipes using pumpkins can be found at allrecipes.com including
pumpkin burgers. The fresh of giant pumpkins grown for Biggest Pumpkin Competitions is also edible but tends to be coarser and have less flavour than pumpkins grown specifically to eat but they can still be used in pies, soups, and in
recipes as an alternative for squash. As with other pumpkins the skins can be composted.
In recent years, the environmental charity, Hubbub has
organised Pumpkin Rescue events to increase awareness of pumpkins as a food and a composting resource rather than just Halloween decorations. The Pumpkin Rescue may events include:
Pumpkin Parties, Cookery sessions,
Composting sessions: Compost drop-off and collection points.For more information go to: http://www.hubbub.org.uk/
A Powerpoint presetation is available to download
on the Pumpkin rescue page
Link to 2019 Leicester/Leicestershire
Pumpkin Rescue Pumpkin Rescue 2019