Scots are being urged to stop scary seasonal food waste by turning their pumpkins into teatime treats this Halloween.
Some 100,000 pumpkins are set to be purchased in Scotland in the run up to October 31, with a truly frightening two thirds being chucked away rather than eaten. Figures from Zero Waste Scotland reveal a massive 340,000kg of pumpkin sold in Scotland in 2014 was wasted – 230,000kg of which could have been consumed. That’s enough to make 460,000 pumpkin lasagnes.
The Love Food Hate Waste campaign, delivered by Zero Waste Scotland, is urging people not to bin their scooped-out pumpkin when making their Halloween lanterns, making the most of this seasonal superfood by following its inspiring pumpkin-based recipes instead.
Rebecca McEwen lives at Arnprior Farm near Stirling with her husband Duncan, whose family have been farming Arnprior since 1936. Having decided to diversify by growing pumpkins in 2015, she said: “Last year we grew 600 pumpkins and this year we have a crop of 2,200 due to demand, so it’s clear pumpkin-carving is becoming increasingly popular in Scotland.
“Having grown up in the countryside and with three young children of our own we’re really keen to reconnect people with the food they eat, and encouraging our customers to use their whole pumpkin ties in brilliantly with our ethos. We’re delighted to support this initiative from Love Food Hate Waste and would urge anyone to try out some delicious pumpkin-themed dinners, save money on shopping and reduce food waste in the process.”
Ylva Haglund, Love Food Hate Waste campaign manager, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Food waste is a major issue with over 380,000 tonnes of food that could have been eaten being thrown away by households in Scotland each year – that represents a potential average annual saving of £460 per household². Halloween is a fun time of year when people traditionally get together in celebration, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to make the most of and share the food we buy.
“A delicious warming pumpkin soup or a hearty pumpkin lasagne are just two easy recipes that make great Halloween party food. Such dishes feed plenty of people and leave you with that all-important pumpkin shell to then carve into a lantern. Throwing away the nutritious pumpkin flesh is a needless waste of money when there are so many other great things you can make with it – even the seeds.”