Tuesday 27th September 2016                 Change text size:

Consumers warned over pumpkin waste ahead of Halloween night



Thomas Backa via flickr

As Halloween night approaches, Britons have been urged not to throw edible pumpkins away once the celebrations have ended, especially this year, which according to farmers has been particularly bad for pumpkins.

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With the spooky holiday just a few days away, worrying data regarding the scale of last year’s waste of pumpkins and alarming figures from farmers are cause for concern.

According to charity Hubbub, around 18,000 tonnes of pumpkins were wasted last Halloween in the UK, as people throw away the plants when the celebration are over with much of the edible part discarded too.

Instead the pumpkins could be used in a wide range of dishes, from soup and risotto to pies. The amount of waste is particularly worrying given the recent figures on food being currently wasted in Britain – the equivalent of £2.4 billion per year.

Trewin Restorick, chief executive and founder of Hubbub said,With household food budgets under pressure, and 18,000 tonnes sent to landfill each year, it’s time we rescued the pumpkin.”

But while the demand for pumpkins has increased over the past few years, farmers warned that a wet October has left many crops rotting in fields.

A farmer from Lincolnshire told the Guardian, “The weather has made it impossible to harvest the crop in the field and what is coming out is neither up to the appearance required by the retailer or the quality to last through until Halloween. Our forecast is very bleak and I cannot see supply lasting further than the weekend.

Blue&Green Tomorrow last year outlined five ways to enjoy a sustainable Halloween, including tips on how to reuse your petrifying pumpkins.

Photo: Thomas Backa via flickr

Further reading:

Food worth £2.4bn thrown away unopened every year

Up to 40% of food wasted because of ‘ugliness’

Five ways to have a sustainably spooky Halloween

World wasting up to half of global food


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