Iowa decided to reconsider taxing pumpkins – because pumpkins are mostly used for decorations and not for food, the argument was made that it should be taxed (unless you filed a waiver saying that you planned to eat the pumpkin.
The start of October brought Hallowe’en decorations. Ghosts, cobwebs (supplemented by an abundance of natural ones this year)…and pumpkins. I have always found the idea of using pumpkins solely as a decoraton to be a disturbing waste of food. But Americans seem not to see pumpkins as food (except now, when it comes to avoiding taxes). Sure, some gets used to make pumpkin pies and the seeds get eaten. But it seems that pumpkins are primarily grown as decorations. And that always strikes me as wasteful. At home pumpkins are food – sure, they are cheap food, an important element in making it possible to feed the whole community at a Hindu wedding. But cheap doesn’t mean bad. Seeing pumpkins reduced to little more than a decorative item bothers me. That is especially true when they are used in a Thanksgiving-related context – in that case, they are being used to represent a bountiful harvest…and yet, they are still wasted.