Interestingly, consumption of fall vegetables has fallen in this country. It makes sense that if you believe in eating locally and in season, incorporating as many of these into your cooking as possible is a practical idea that our grandparents knew well. Many fall vegetables store for a long time.
At our house we love to eat curried squash soup and also roasted root vegetables tossed in oil and herbs such as rosemary. And, I appreciate cooking with onions more with each passing year. I can appreciate it that Indian’s riot over a lack of onions.
Eating fall vegetables is NOT a punishment and will help combat food waste, too.
From the USDA:
Americans consumed 49.7 pounds per person of traditional fall vegetables in their fresh form in 2012. Despite many of these traditional fall vegetables now being grown year-round in parts of the United States and eaten throughout the year, consumption has fallen 13.1 pounds per person since 1970.
Much of this decline is due to consumption of fresh potatoes falling from 46.6 pounds per person in 1970 to 26.8 pounds in 2012. Per person consumption of potatoes in all forms (fresh, frozen, canned, dehydrated, etc.) has also fallen—by 10.8 pounds over the last 40 years.
However, consumption of most of the other traditional fall vegetables in their fresh form has grown, including fresh onions, which were the second most consumed fresh fall vegetable at 8 pounds per person.
Consumption of fresh pumpkins and sweet potatoes combined was 1.5 pounds per person in 2012.
I consider this good news, to find out that the fourth-top corn producing state of Illinois produces way more pumpkins than any other state. Next comes California, followed by Ohio and Michigan.
See the following chart and information about pumpkin growing from the USDA:
In 2013, the top 6 U.S. pumpkin producing states supplied over 1.13 billion pounds of pumpkins. Pumpkin production is widely dispersed, with crop conditions varying greatly by region.
Illinois remains the leading producer of pumpkins, with a majority of the state’s production processed into pie filling and other uses.
Supplies from the remaining top five pumpkin producing states are targeted primarily towards the seasonal fresh market for ornamental uses, as well as home processing.
Demand for specialty pumpkins continues to expand as consumers look for new and interesting variations. In addition to the traditional jack-o-lantern market, there is an increase in pumpkins available in alternative colors (white, blue, striped), shapes (oblong, upright), skin (deep veins, warts) and sizes.