Pumpkins bring to mind jack-o’-lanterns and Thanksgiving dinner, but they make a significant impact all year long.
The majority of pumpkins are processed and found in the form of pumpkin puree or canned pie mix. Pumpkins provide many health benefits, contain zero cholesterol and are low in sodium. The rest are grown for ornamental purposes and sold through u-pick farms, farmers markets and grocery stores.
Top Pumpkin States
While pumpkins are grown throughout much of the United States, Morton, Ill., is known as the “Pumpkin Capital of the World.” Morton is home to numerous processing plants, and 90 percent of the pumpkins raised in the United States originate within 90 miles of the area. Other top pumpkin-producing states are California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan.
Discover how pumpkins have been used throughout history:
1. Livestock feed: Numerous livestock species enjoy snacking on the meat and rind of pumpkins.
2. Mats: Native Americans wove dried strips of pumpkin into mats.
3. Snake Bite Cure: Pumpkins were said to cure snake bites, though there is little evidence of how it was used.
4. Skin Care: Pumpkins were once recommended for freckle removal and anti-wrinkle purposes.
5. Kidney Medicine: Native Americans used pumpkin seeds to treat kidney problems.