In some of the poorest countries in the world, pumpkins are a rich source of food. They are never carved out only be thrown away later. They would be left to dry out on the roof of homes and eaten for the months afterwards.
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I think you more or less said it as I see it - more commercialism and an opportunity to have a booze up - the children can be forgiven as they are after all - just children but with hunger throughout the world perhaps pumpkins should be seen as food,