The Horror of Halloween Food Waste
The humble pumpkin has become a staple in all things Halloween. Over 10 million pumpkins are grown in the UK, with 95% sold for Halloween carving. They make great decorations, but did you know you can eat the flesh and seeds too?
With 42% of people buying a pumpkin in the UK, a scary 18,000 tonnes of edible pumpkin ends up in the bin each year. That’s the same weight as 1,500 double decker buses!
Think of all the land and energy used to grow and transport our pumpkins every year, just for them to end up in the bin. It’s a frightening thought.
Love Halloween, Hate Waste!
This year, Hubbub and Recycle Devon are launching #EatYourPumpkin.
Pumpkins are a real vegetable powerhouse! They’re cheap, nutritious, delicious, grow abundantly in the UK and can be cooked a thousand ways.
If you’re planning to buy a pumpkin, here are some top tips to get your money’s worth and reduce waste at the same time:
- Scoop out the flesh and use to make delicious pumpkin soup, pie, wedges and pasta sauce. Check out these pumpkin recipes for inspiration!
- Remove pumpkin seeds and roast for a superfood snack or use in muesli, smoothies, bread baking or toppings on savoury dishes for a vitamin and mineral boost.
- After Halloween, smash your pumpkin into small pieces – a great activity for children – and add to your garden compost bin. Smaller pieces will rot down quicker than large chunks.
- If you have a food waste collection in your area, pop it in your food waste caddy. It can be used to generate energy and fertiliser for agriculture.
Do I have to chop it up?
Each local authority area has different capacity for the amount of food waste they can collect, so if you’re a resident of Teignbridge, North Devon, South Hams, West Devon or Torridge you’ll need to chop your pumpkin up and put it inside your caddy along with the rest of your food waste. If you live in Torbay or Mid Devon you can put your pumpkin on top of the caddy on collection day. Just remember to remove the candle and any decoration first! Lastly, if you live in East Devon you can leave your pumpkin on top if your caddy is already full.
Need help sussing out what’s edible? Here’s everything you need to know about storing, carving and eating your pumpkin!
Every pumpkin eaten is a step towards tackling the 7.1 million tonnes of food and drink that is thrown away from UK homes every year.
For more information about reducing waste this Halloween and beyond, visit our Love Food, Hate Waste pages and get a FREE online recipe book!