Pumpkins have a scary part to play in food waste at Halloween

The humble pumpkin: well known for its capacity to be carved, but what about the taste?


While transforming a pumpkin into a spooky jack o'lantern is a treasured Halloween tradition, it can also lead to staggering levels of food waste. Carving pumpkins are more woody and tasteless than the smaller pumpkins grown specifically to be eaten, but they're still a foodstuff that ultimately ends up in the bin. 


Two in five Brits buy a Halloween pumpkin but only a third of them are cooking up a seasonal supper. According to the Pumpkin Rescue campaign that means 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin going to waste every year, the same weight as 1,500 double decker buses. 


Trewin Restorick, who works for the environmental charity Hubbub which commissioned the survey, said: “Halloween is increasingly popular in the UK, but we seem to have ignored a crucial part of the US tradition: cooking with pumpkins rather than throwing them in the bin.


With household food under pressure it’s time we rescued the pumpkin.”


After your pumpkin has sat on the doorstep for two days with a spluttering tealight inside, you might not want to turn it into your next dinner. But you can still give pumpkin its due by making a seasonal soup, stew, pie or even a cocktail instead.


Not sure where to start? Let us help with these pumpkin recipes