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Food waste is the scariest thing this Halloween

Scots are being urged to stop scary seasonal food waste by turning their pumpkins into teatime treats this Halloween.

25 Oct 16

Some 100,000¹ pumpkins are set to be purchased in Scotland in the run up to October 31, with a truly frightening two thirds² 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.”

Love Food Hate Waste has some delicious pumpkin recipe suggestions to try, including

All of these recipes are available on www.lovefoodhatewaste.com along with tips on using up apples once apple bobbing is over. Recipes include apple crisps and apple spiced muffins. Zero Waste Scotland is also encouraging members of the public to share their Halloween recipe ideas using the hashtag #PumpkinRescue.

Sustainability charity Hubbub has run a ‘Pumpkin Rescue’ campaign south of the border since 2014, when 52% of Halloween pumpkin buyers said they would welcome recipes to help them get more from their pumpkins³. Hubbub Managing Director Rebecca Dove said: “Since its inception pumpkin rescue has helped save 25 tonnes of pumpkin from landfill from towns across UK and all the way to the USA. We hope this year will be our biggest and best Pumpkin Rescue to date and we are delighted that Zero Waste Scotland is reaching out to members of the public in Scotland to engage them in the movement.”

The environmental impact of the food wasted is significant. If we stopped wasting food from our homes at the current level, it would have the same effect as taking one in four cars off Scotland’s roads4.

Food often ends up wasted if we buy too much, cook too much or don’t store food correctly – and often don’t think creatively about how to use leftovers and freeze whatever is not immediately required. The Love Food Hate Waste website has a wealth of tips on how to plan meals to make the most of everything you buy, how to judge portions correctly, how to store food to make it last longer and ways to turn leftovers into delicious meals and snacks. Visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com to find out more.

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