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.
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.
Carve it, Cook it, Eat it, Compost it
Join us in reducing pumpkin waste while celebrating Halloween
- Hold a biggest pumpkin competition and donate
the pumpkins to a local hospital, community fridge etc. after the event This could be on the allotment, school or a local garden centre. Allotment Societies in cities or towns could cooperate and hold a city-wide competition.
- Get creative
and carve your pumpkin at home photograph the pumpkin and carvers at home, or school before sending the photographs to us to include on our carryoncomposting.com website and or post it on the Carry on Composting and NAS Composting Facebook
page . (Email firstname.lastname@example.org). Encourage carvers to cook the flesh from the pumpkins
- Provide pumpkin recipes and cooking advice to friends, community groups, schools,
- Have a Smashing time. Compost the remains of your carved pumpkin. Join the Pumpkin Smash at Stokes Wood Allotment Compost Demonstration Site Leicester, 2B Stokes
Drive on 13 November 10-30 -12.30. In 2019 we had over 100 pumpkins to smash and compost.
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/