Monday, November 10, 2014

Apres Halloween...the pumpkins bite the dust

What with my own pumpkin, now that the frosts have started, needing to come indoors and with next door's carved pumpkin, likewise, this morning was a madhouse of cutting and carving up and seeding and chopping and dicing and steaming and need I go on...two solid hours.

 But a huge yield of pumpkin steamed and ready to use instantly when needed.  Soup, stirfry, bread, muffins, pancakes, no end to the possibilities.

In the freezer already five bags of steamed pumpkin dice, and here's the last hurrah, heartfelt, I may say.

I think I'm getting people trained with my aversion to food waste -- neighbor said he was planning to toss their Halloween pumpkin now Halloween was past, but suddenly thought he'd ask me.  

I said, that's not trash, that's FOOD!  and he burst out laughing and said that's exactly what I thought you'd say!  I did promise to give him the seeds from my pumpkin, since he loves them toasted, and I'm not fond.

I still have winter squash to do something about but maybe not today.  Their need is not as urgent as the pumpkin. 

I saw "Dive" last evening, a documentary made by young filmmakers in LA about dumpster diving for food, largely but not only, at Trader Joe's, and it was amazing how much perfectly good food they found, still with days to go on their sell-by date, even. High end foods.  Gah!  they were sharing with family, friends and the local SA shelter.  Then a lot of the stores began to padlock their dumpsters.  I'm guessing fear of liability.  And rats.

Then the group began, having got nowhere with the top brass at a number of food corps., to deal directly with local managers, some of whom gave them a window at the end of the day in which they could take away food for any purpose they wanted -- some shelters are taking advantage of this opportunity, too -- before the food hit the dumpsters.  And they all discovered, as people in the field have long known, that salvaging and re-serving food is very heavy and demanding and timebound work.  A small version of which I did this morning.

They were not so much interested in feeding themselves, though they were happy to do that, as making a point in the hope that we can collectively do a much better job at food conservation and sharing than we've been doing up to now.  And they give ideas on what any of us can do next.

Food waste is endemic in a lot of supposedly civilized countries, very sad state of affairs, when hunger exists there, too.  Anyway, I recommend it as a sobering insight, or a confirmation of what we knew, depending on where you're coming from on this issue.

And, since Thanksgiving in the US will be here soon, I always remember that people aren't just hungry then.  It's all year round. Food banks need our help all the time.



  1. Interesting read. Wasting food is a sacrilege indeed. I am happy that you have so much pumpkin. I myself am looking forward to having more soup soon.

  2. We currently have a 30 lb (weighed on the bathroom scales) pumpkin residing in our freezer all ready for some great pies over the winter. Rather than peeling & chopping it, Jack cut it in half, took out the 'innards', placed it cut side down in a pan with a little water and roasted it in the oven. After cooling, he easily scooped out the flesh. A quick whir in the blender and it's perfect.

  3. "Best Before" dates always astonish me and the people who will turf perfectly good milk or something just because the date has gone by. Use your nose I say or a smidgen of a taste-test before biffing something and buying more.


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