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I Just Found Out Canned Pumpkin Isn’t Pumpkin At All, And My Whole Life is Basic

Emma Crist

MSN food & wine

4 days ago


I know you think you’ve been counting down to PSL-season for what feels like a lifetime, but I assure you that, as an editor for one of the largest food websites in the country, I’ve been prepping for much, much longer. We work well ahead (at least 4-6 months) creating seasonal packages and researching to spot upcoming trends before they hit, so I’m pretty sure I was celebrating Thanksgiving on July 4.


With months of researching and preparing for the fall, you’d think I would have discovered what I’m about to tell you before last week. Heck, as someone who spends the entirety of her workweek studying food, I should just innately know all of the things–right? Not so, my friends, not so.


Okay, I’ll get to the point. I found out something extremely disappointing and concerning this week that has made me rethink most everything in my life, so I’d like to share a little PSA with the class:


Pumpkin puree is not pumpkin. It’s squash.


Pumpkin puree: You know, the canned orange stuff that’s lining the supermarket walls right now? The stuff you use to make all your favorite fall desserts that’s labeled “100% pumpkin”?! Yes, well, it’s actually made from 100% not pumpkin. The mix is made from a variety of winter squash (think butternut, Golden Delicious, Hubbard, and more). Libby’s, the brand that produces about 85% of the country’s canned “pumpkin” filling, has actually developed a certain variety of squash that they grow, package, and distribute to supermarkets across the country–all the while fooling innocent, trusting consumers into believing they’re eating a pumpkin.


As it turns out, pumpkins can be fairly stringy and watery; certain varieties of winter squash make a richer, sweeter puree that works way better for packing the now-ambiguous flavor we all love into our favorite fall dishes. Additionally, the USDA is fairly lenient with gourd terminology in general, which is why it’s perfectly legal to label a food product as “pumpkin” when, in reality, it’s made from a different variety of squash. So it’s all good now that there’s an explanation, right? NO. It’s not.


What I’m telling you is, you’ve basically been eating butternut squash pie, squash bread, and drinking SQUASH FREAKING SPICE LATTES this entire time.


Here’s my thing: When all the gourd execs sat around the boardroom table and came to the conclusion that, “Dang, pumpkin just isn’t going to work,” why didn’t they just come right out with it and announce, “SQUASH IS THE NEW PUMPKIN!” just like when Neiman Marcus told us gingham was the new stripe?! (P.S. It wasn’t. That was also a lie, and I looked like I was wearing a tablecloth.) This is my hangup on the whole issue. Not that all of my favorite pumpkin things suddenly taste gross now that I know what they’re really made of–but I’m a trusting girl, and I was deceived. Is nothing sacred? If it’s no big deal to call a blend of squashes “pumpkin,” who’s to say anything is what it says it is? That’s something for you to chew on.


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Pine for Cedars

I’m not sure that I remember school being this...terrifying, I guess is the best way to describe it. It’s fun, absolutely, and I’m enjoying it. So far, I have managed to avoid being “That Girl” and I think I’ve made friends, even if my innate sense of self doubt has me thinking that maybe they’re just being nice to me out of courtesy? Jr. High really made me doubt this sort of thing, as when I was younger, there were people who I thought were my friends, who ended up bullying me pretty badly. I’m so scared that’ll happen again (it’s only the first month of school, after all...) but so far, college has been pretty great. 


I won’t lie, in that I definitely do have moments or evenings where I let the self doubt get to me. I think that I’m not smart enough for this program. I worry that I’ll be part of the 3% who don’t pass the licensing exam, or that I won’t find an apprenticeship. This is all further hammered in by the fact that I did my first quiz last week, and only got 12 questions right out of 20.


I keep telling myself that it’s because I didn’t know what to expect, question wise, and now that I’ve done one of the quizzes, I’ll better know what to expect. I hope that’s the case, at the very least.


The weekends have been amazing, and frankly, they’re what I look forward to, the most. You can tell that Nic misses me during the week (and quite obviously, I miss him too). Our weekends have been passionate, and wonderful, and everything is amazing. This weekend, with nothing else to do, we went out on a drive, and ended up driving around for two hours, singing duets. We stopped at a random bar, had drinks, then continued on our way. That sort of impromptu adventure is something I’ve always wanted and experienced very little of, until I met Nic.


I’m really just writing this blog to procrastinate from putting away my clean laundry, or doing more readings. This time around, I’m trying to be more studious than before. I really want this, so badly. I want to be a funeral director so much that it makes my heart ache. 


Aside from all of that, I have one issue that keeps popping up a little bit, but I’ve only spoken to one person about it because it’s silly. It’s a non-issue, really. I just need to avoid it, more than anything. Eek. 


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(no subject)

I spent most of my day inside, but I’ve had a bee in my hair THREE TIMES TODAY.


One crept into my hair at approximately 8:30pm when I took my dog out to pee. I was putting my leftovers in some tupperware when I felt something tickling my FRESHLY SHOWERED SCALP.


Reached up, moved a stray hair, okay all good.


Felt it again, moved another hair. Right.


A third time I felt something move and heard a buzz when my finger came into contact with it. Flipped over and yelled OH GOD PLEASE HELP ME I FELT IT, IT BUZZED GET IT THE FUCK OUT 





then she slapped the shit out of me with junkmail and squished the wasp (lol not a bee) into my fuckin hair.


thanks mom


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I Shat Where I Ate...

First off, this week has been really hard on my with all the police killing of black people and whatnot.  But despite all of my issues and work leave because of them, yesterday I had a breakthrough...I no longer had a seething hatred for Ex-Crush. I was ready to move on with my life and didn’t even care if I had to be around him. I felt that I was over it enough to be cordial and maybe even a little cheeky with him.


I was ready to move on with my life. I was getting on the mailing lists to some social justice organizations in Atlanta (where Casey, my boyfriend who I plan to marry next month, lives). I was good. I even read someone else’s post here about an ex-partner and was happy to beyond that point with Ex-Crush.


Then there was just now.


I was on Facebook...and Southerners On New Ground (a southern social justice org...for like ALL of the south) was hosting an event...FOR JUSTICE LEADERS FROM ALL OVER THE SOUTH and who did I see in the goddamn fucking picture??? Well, at first I didn’t see anyone I knew. But right in front of the camera I saw a hat...and felt my heart shudder.


A green hat, one that has been on my coffee table MANY times, a hat I taken off a head MANY times. Hair that I’ve had through my hands and all over my body MANY TIMES. I noticed all of these things before I noticed that it was him.


Then I long as I’m in social justice, I will never be able to get away from him. Even if I move to Atlanta and get involved in a whole ‘nother social justice organization I will never be free from worrying about running into him.


Not as long as I’m in social justice.


**I’m starting to feel a little better now and am choosing to not tell Casey about this. It sucks when your best friend is your partner because I know this feeling will pass but I want to talk to someone about it, but I don’t want to burden him with this. That seems like it would be especially cruel since I already cheated on him with this person**


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