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Where did all the pumpkins go?

Where did all of the canned pumpkin go?

We had a recent run-in with a bit of food supply reality when my wife went out in search of some canned pumpkin this fall. In anticipation of making holiday pumpkins pies, she went to a couple of grocery stores to stock up on this vital ingredient for one of my favorite desserts. She was somewhat surprised when she could not find any at the first store. Fortunately for myself and the other pumpkin pie lovers in the family, she went to a second store and got the last can they had.

A few days later, she was at a local bakery and the pumpkin conversation came up again. The baker said that their popular pumpkin products were going to be very limited this fall due to a short pumpkin crop. The baker said that if people want pumpkin for pies and other autumn goodies, they are actually going to have go buy pumpkins and can it themselves! What?

The idea of people in our society actually coming into contact with the distasteful dirt of the fields and handle something as unseemly as pumpkin innards for something as basic as a pie is hard to fathom. And the seeds, oh the seeds! It is practically like pioneer life.

The next thing you know, housewives in the suburbs will be milking cows and butchering hogs in their backyard.

We are so spoiled by our abundant and diverse food supply that something like a pumpkin shortage is hard to fathom. After all, those pumpkin pies just seem to show up on the Thanksgiving table every year along with the mountain of other food we typically enjoy.

This pumpkin debacle will surely not result in a global food disaster (though it may be the ruin of an otherwise ideal Thanksgiving dinner), but a limited supply of canned pumpkin in some groceries stores is a subtle reminder that we do live in a world that is sometimes out of our control. Even in our land of plenty, a simple stretch of uncooperative weather can leave us short on supplies.

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