Pumpkin - Have a Sustainable Halloween!
Candy and Pumpkins are two things that might come to mind when thinking about halloween. Yummy and fun, right!?
But.. as we all have learned, what is fun usually has some sort of backside.
The food waste increases during all big holidays, but Halloween actually sets the record (Christmas has the highest over all waste contribution). One of the largest contributions is the pumpkin, since the fruit is mainly being used as decoration and then handled as waste. You read it right, pumpkin is actually a fruit, and not a vegetable!
At first, use as much of the pumpkin as possible to reduce the food waste.
The pumpkin is originally from the northern of america but is nowadays also common in Europe and especially in the U.K. According to an article in The Guardian, 95% of the pumpkins harvested in U.K is being used to create decorative lanterns. After carving, only about 30% of the flesh is being used to create food!
Pumpkin seeds contain good nutrients and can be roasted and used as food accessories to many dishes. The rest of the flesh and the pumpkin fruit are simple tossed away as food waste. Here is a list of possible usage for the pumpkin flesh.
- Pumpkin pie
- Pumpkin soup
- Soft cookies
So before carving out your next pumpkin, find nice recipes and use as much of it as you can! It is good for your household budget and some extra fun cooking it with someone you love! Just remember to ask when you buy your pumpkin if it is a species that also easily can be used for food!
Only in U.K, 18 000 tonnes of pumpkin is assumed to be food waste this weekend and most of it will end up in landfills. 18 000 tonne corresponds to 360 million portions of delicious pumpkin pie!
What should you do with the pumpkin on your porch when you want to get rid of it?
The best way to deal with the waste of the pumpkin is to compost it! Either, in your backyard bringing energy to your own soil or to food waste management of your town. Do not put it among your everyday waste, since that probably will end up on a pile of garbage, a landfill. The countries providing industrial compost creating bio-fuels or bio-fertilizer is making the most of it but if your city doesn't have a system dealing with food waste, the best way to handle your pumpkin is to bury it in the backyard letting nature have its turn with it!
Fun fact:It's also possible to use pumpkin flesh to create beer which actually has been tested commercially as an initiative to reduce food waste!