20 towns and cities across the UK will host Pumpkin Rescue events to educate people on ways to prevent edible pumpkin going to waste. These will include offering recipe tips using pumpkins.
This is a massive leap from last year when one pumpkin festival took place in Oxford.
Hubbub’s founder Trewin Restorick told FoodManufacture.co.uk he was “delighted” with how the event had grown.
“The growth of the festival shows the huge level of interest communities have in cutting food waste and the desire that exists to squash the problem if the solution is provided in a way that is compelling and fun,” he said.
Shocked by food waste
“The common theme in all the festivals is that people are genuinely shocked as to how much food waste is created at Halloween and proves the value of linking campaigns to major seasonal events.”
The Pumpkin Rescue is a celebration of food, one set on carving up Halloween conventions by giving good reason to combat the 18,000t of edible pumpkin that people waste each Halloween, Hubbub added.
Two in five people will buy a pumpkin over Halloween to make a traditional jack-o’-lantern, yet will waste the weight equivalent to 1,500 double-decker buses of pumpkin.
Food waste facts
- 1.3bnt of food is waste globally each year
- 7Mt of food is wasted by the UK food industry annually
- Food waste costs the UK £12.5bn annually
Source: Love Food Hate Waste / Stop the rot
Events highlighting food waste will take place the full length and breadth of the UK, from Inverness and Stirling in Scotland through Bristol, Bradford and Cardiff to Plymouth and Bournemouth on the south coast. For a full list of places hosting pumpkin waste events, see the bottom of this article.
Following a strong social media campaign, the idea has also taken seed in the US, with a festival taking place in New Jersey.
Meanwhile, the London Food Board has launched public petition calling on the bosses of Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury and Morrisons to reduce the amount of food they waste.
The campaign, Stop the Rot, is backed by television personality Huw Fernley-Whittingstall, Friends of the Earth, shadow environment secretary Kerry McCarthy and various other campaign groups.
Fearnley-Whittingstall said: “The cost of UK food waste is currently borne by the environment, our farmers and producers, and by the consumers who pay for food that doesn’t even get to them. Lifting the lid on food waste in our supply chains, and tackling it, makes sense for everyone. It’s time to Stop the Rot.”
You can sign the petition here.