Carving vegetables, in particular gourds, to make lanterns has a long history, with the Maori known to have carved gourd lanterns over 700 years ago. Carving lanterns out of turnips in the British Isles probably originated in Ireland, where jack-o’-lanterns were supposed to be based on the flickering will-o’-the-wisp lights over peat bogs. In the late 19th century Halloween became widely celebrated in the USA, the home of the pumpkin. Today in the UK ‘carving pumpkins’ are grown especially for the event, but after the fun has been had around 2/3 go straight into the bin, whereas in the US people often pride themselves on eating the contents (think pumpkin pie)!
But it’s not all about pumpkins. The average family wastes around £60 of food a month – that’s £720 a year going straight in the bin. Here at Cambridge Sustainable Food we’re doing our best to help reduce that figure. Head over to our website to find out more about our partnership with Sainsbury’s to promote their Waste Less, Save More campaign. For inspiration on scrummy, seasonal pumpkin recipes look no further than right here.