To the editor,
Halloween is almost here once again. After a whole year of waiting you once again have the chance to be elbows deep in that deliciously sweet smelling orange goo from pumpkins that we all love to squish through our fingers.
Maybe you even separate the seeds and cook them up with some salt. Then you make an attempt at carving the scariest face imaginable and when your masterpiece is complete you place it on your front porch with a candle inside to ward off evil spirits and to show off your beautiful artwork.
Then November first rolls around. It was fun while it lasted but now, if the local hooligans have spared your jack-o-lantern from an untimely demise all over the street, you need to deal with this large orange mass before it turns to acrid smelling mush all over your porch.
Most people will simply take the offending orange tripping hazard and discard it into the compost without a second thought.
However, this popular Halloween decoration is more than it would appear. Believe it or not, people used to commonly eat these things. That’s right, pumpkins are fruit. In fact, pound for pound, pumpkins are the least expensive fruit at the market. And if you store them right they can last for months in a fresh state. Even after you cut a face into them, burn the top with a candle, spill wax in the bottom and leave it out all night in the cool fall air, you can still eat them.
Every year I watch as many of the people that I know waste and discard hundreds of pounds of food combined. Like most children of my generation I was always told not to waste food, and that there are starving people who would do anything just to have one-tenth of the food that I’m privileged to.
So, why the enormous waste of food?
Understandably, we can’t very well ship a carved pumpkin to wherever these hungry people are but we can eat them and be grateful for it. Last year I asked all of my friends to save me their jack-o-lanterns and I froze the extra pumpkin meat for use all year. As a student this was a great way to save money on food.
If you are really feeling like you need to help you can make a pumpkin soup and donate it to the local soup kitchen, or you could even figure out how much money you would have spent on food if you did discard the pumpkin and donate that amount to charity.
At the very least just make a pumpkin pie and enjoy knowing that you didn’t add to the unnecessary waste of food that happens every year.
Please, stop wasting this delicious orange squash and start being mindful of the current state of the world food production issues.