Autumn is here and Halloween is fast approaching. While carved pumpkins are the perfect decorations for this season, this can also mean that a lot of pumpkin waste is produced. Lower your food waste this season by reusing your pumpkins!
The average food wasted in Belgium is about 10,400 tons per day. This is a huge number that we can all work together to decrease, and we can start with the pumpkins we buy for decoration this season! Pumpkins have many essential nutrients and vitamins in them, and they can make some delicious meals. There are many different ways of reusing an edible pumpkin bought for decor.
First of all, there are a couple of things you can keep in mind when buying pumpkins to make your pumpkin season a little less impactful. Buying them locally is a good way to start! Buying locally means that they were grown locally and thus fewer kilometres traveled for the pumpkin. The fewer kilometres traveled results in using much fewer resources and being much more eco-friendly. Another thing to keep in mind whilst pumpkin shopping are the less visually attractive pumpkins. These are the ones that are most likely to get wasted. Buy the imperfect pumpkins and get creative to turn them into become the most beautiful (or scary) decoration in the neighbourhood!
Once you've bought and used your pumpkin decor, there are many different ways you can eat them. After all, everyone loves pumpkin spice flavoured everything! You can roast your pumpkin, make pumpkin pie, soup, muffins, cookies, dips, curries - the options are endless! You can even roast the pumpkin seeds in the oven with a little olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper and you have a healthy snack high in protein!
There are many varieties of pumpkins bred for different purposes like carving, decorative and cooking. Usually the carving and decorative ones have less meaty flesh in them but they can definitely still be eaten!
If you don't want to eat your pumpkins, then the wildlife around you probably do! Add some corn or seeds to your pumpkins and maybe cut them up a little bit. Animals will love it!
Finally, if all else fails, you can make sure to compost the pumpkins.