Friday, November 20, 2009

Pumpkin shortage?

Other than the startling fact that Nestle dominates 80- 90% of the canned pumpkin market (wow, serious monopoly!), you might be surprised to see fewer cans of pumpkin on your grocery store shelves this holiday season. Nestle has reported that because of heavy rains in Illinois this season, where most of their pumpkins are grown, a portion of the pumpkin crop has deteriorated and they might not be able to meet the demand for canned pumpkin this season.

Interestingly enough, the company also reports that sales of canned pumpkin have increased in recent years, citing recent studies that tout the health benefits of pumpkin, which is high in free radical fighting carotenoids and lutein, zinc, and iron.

For the locavores reading this blog, it's just another reason to skip the canned pumpkin and buy local NY/NJ pumpkins for your Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. For kitchen slackers, making pumpkin pie from scratch may be time consuming, but not difficult- carve your pumpkin, scoop out the seeds and stringy bits, and roast with the hollow side down until the pumpkin flesh is tender. If you're not using your pumpkin for pie, it's just as amazing in pancakes, breads, and mousse- yes, pumpkin mousse!

I'm going to try this myself, but I'd be curious to hear how this comes out for other readers!

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