I’ve been experiencing seasonal pumpkin horror for about a week now – ever since the massive boxes of massive pumpkins turned up in the supermarkets. I noticed today that many of the ones now revealed at the bottom are full of cracks and bruises. No one will buy those, and I expect they’ll go to landfill.
Of the ones that are bought, the majority I expect will be carved, used as decorations for an evening or two and then discarded. Some may go to compost or food recycling. Some will go in the bin.
I wonder how much land it took to grow them all, how much water, fertilizer, pesticides. I wonder how much energy it took to harvest them, what the food miles are on this edible decoration that mostly won’t be used for food. I wonder what could have lived if they hadn’t been grown.
I’m aware, because I’ve talked about this kind of thing before, that there are people who will see me as a miserable kill-joy. ‘It’s just a bit of fun’ is such a popular defence. One of the major problems with humans as I see it, is the way we feel entitled to our ‘fun’ and disinclined to look at the cost. As we drive other species towards extinction, our ‘bit of fun’ seems ever harder to justify or excuse.
If you feel the need for a pumpkin, hollow it out well and cook the innards and eat them. The flesh of a pumpkin is easy to cook and has a mild flavour. Toast the seeds and eat those too. What you can’t eat, put out for the wildlife because lots of things will cheerfully eat your pumpkin leftovers. Don’t put them in a bin to go to landfill, that’s the ultimate pumpkin horror.