As the doorways of most homes in 'Northern America’ and parts of Europe are lit up by candlelight tonight, flickering through ghoulish grins, let each light make your mind burn bright in remembering the root of meaning these festivities once held for our species.

The Halloween we know today is a Christian colonial (and now capitalist) spin-off of the pagan festival Samhain, created to honour the harvest and usher in the dark half of the year where food would be scarce and held sacred. 

HALLOWEEN FOOD WASTE
Today our celebrations offer the opposite sentiment, and instead of honouring the seed, water, energy, land, and labour spent in the 140 days it takes to grow a pumpkin (half the time it takes to gestate a human baby), 85 percent of the pumpkin harvest we harbour, will be hollowed out to carve in ghoulish grins, before being chicked in the bin to rot.
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In the UK alone (which barely celebrates Halloween) we grew enough pumpkins to feed the entire country - more than 8 million pumpkins – and we will put more than 18,000 tonnes of that edible vitamin-packed flesh to waste without a morsel of its meat tasted.

WHY FOOD WASTE IS A GLOBAL ISSUE
Food waste is a major contributor to global warming, responsible for roughly 8 percent of global emissions. A third of the food we raise or prepared does not make it from farm or factory to fork, squandering a whole host of resources which generate greenhouse gasses at every stage, including methane which is produced when organic matter lands in the landfill and has 20x the warming effect of carbon dioxide. 
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1. EAT your pumpkin and it’s innards - there are plenty of pumpkin recipes online, I’ve got my top 10 favourite pumpkin recipes in an old blog post HERE

2. DONATE My friend Jessica Scott suggests donating your Jack-O'-Lantern your local animal sanctuary.

3. COMPOST if you're too lazy to cook, and can't find an animal shelter to donate to, hunt out your local compost to ensure its corpse contributes to positives rather than negatives in its demise.

4. BREW Toast Ale, the UK social enterprise which makes zero waste beer from surplus bread, have created a Belgian-style pumpkin dubbel using surplus squashes collected by volunteers of the Gleaning Network from local farms. They'll be partnering with Brewdog Tower Hill Outpost to brew the beer on the 4 November, launching on draught at six Brewdog bars across London on November 28th. Proceeds will go to Hubbub (who started the #PumpkinRescue campaign) to help fix our borken food system. If you've got a brew kit at home, they've shared their DIY Pumpkin Beer Recipe HERE so you can some neighbourly beer.

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