Halloween campaign to save 12.8 million pumpkins from waste

Hubbub has launched its annual Halloween campaign, ‘Eat Your Pumpkin’, to educate the public on reducing seasonal food waste.

This Halloween, although 30 per cent fewer households will be going trick or treating, 12.8 million pumpkins are still set to go to waste, reveals new research commissioned by environmental charity Hubbub.

Pumpkin patchThe new figures suggest only 42 per cent of people who celebrate Halloween realise carving pumpkins from the supermarket can be eaten.

In a survey of 3,000 UK residents, Hubbub found that 24 million pumpkins are estimated to be carved this year but over half (12.8 million) of these are set to be carved but not eaten, enough to make a bowl of pumpkin soup for everyone in Britain.

These statistics have improved since the same survey, carried out in 2016, found that seven out of 10 pumpkins were carved and not eaten – wasting 15 million pumpkins.

Chef Nena Foster, who is supporting the campaign, said: “Pumpkin is really versatile - it goes particularly well in savoury dishes like soups, stews, chilli and risottos, as well as in sweet bakes like pies, cakes, scones and biscuits.

“Pumpkin is even delicious fermented. And you can use almost every part, for the skin, flesh, seeds and insides. If you’re carving a pumpkin this Halloween with your children, you can also use the bits you’d usually throw away to get cooking!”

Hubbub is also urging people to either compost their carved pumpkins, put them out for the birds or dispose of them in the food waste collection, as the research suggests two million pumpkins will end up in the general household bin, which will increase emissions from greenhouse gases if sent to landfill.

Tessa Tricks, Creative Director at Hubbub, said: “We know that over lockdown many people developed a new-found love of cooking from scratch and are generally valuing food more, so we’re urging people to try a new recipe this Halloween and make the most of every part of this nutritious and versatile food.“

After food waste increased by 30 per cent as the UK eased out of national lockdown in July, Hubbub launched a ‘Greenprint’ manifesto to ensure a sustainable recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hubbub has also worked closely with supermarket Tesco on the ‘No Time for Waste Challenge’, aiming to combat the 6.6 million tonnes of food waste produced in UK households annually.

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