Amazing Pumpkin Facts for #NationalPumpkinDay

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition

It makes perfect sense that we’d kick off Halloween week with National Pumpkin Day. Nothing says Halloween more clearly than the iconic orange pumpkin, preferably carved into a smiling face into a jack-o-lantern. While the vast majority of the 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins grown in the United States each year—that’s 750,000 tons—go to making jack-0-lanterns, an increasing amount of production has been going into flavorings, thanks to the popularity of pumpkin-spice everything. Here are some other amazing pumpkin facts to share with your friends this week:

  • The oldest pumpkin seeds date from 7,000 to 5,500 BC.
  • The word pumpkin is derived from the Greek word pepon, which means “large melon.”
  • The largest pumpkin ever recorded was a 2,009-pound monster grown in 2012 in Rhode Island. Fittingly, it was of the Atlantic Giant variety.
  • Pumpkins are thought to have originated in Mexico.
  • Pumpkins are fed to hens during the winter to help stimulate egg production.
  • Almost 95 percent of the pumpkins destined for consumption in the United States are grown in Illinois.
  • Pumpkin seeds, known by their Spanish name pepitas, are a are a good source of protein, magnesium, copper and zinc.
  • The town of Half Moon Bay, California holds an annual Pumpkin Festival that draws 250,000 visitors.
  • There is no such thing as The Great Pumpkin.
  • Use the hashtag #NationalPumpkinDay today to join the discussion.
  • Nor can pumpkins be converted into carriages.
  • Starbucks introduced its now-iconic pumpkin-spice latte in 2003.
  • In Thailand, small pumpkins are steamed with custard inside and served as dessert.