The horrifying reality behind your pumpkin spice

Illustration by Ariel Mitchell

If an ethical crisis occurs at roughly the same time each year, and no one chooses to address it, does that crisis make a sound?

Close the other tabs on your Internet browser, put your phone on silent, and tell any strangers chatting nearby to shut up, because I’ve got a truth bomb armed and ready, and modern society is in my cross-hairs. It’s time we talked about the autumn delicacy of pumpkin spice and the glaringly questionable ethics involved in its mass production.

Pumpkin spice, that sweet seasonal scent currently infiltrating every product and surface in sight, is quite possibly the most problematic food product since McCain’s orphaned baby seal frozen nuggets. Propaganda would have you believe that pumpkins live in great sprawling, scenic patches and enjoy peaceful lives amongst their pumpkin kin, but this is far from the reality. What the pumpkin spice industry doesn’t want you to know is that it takes a special kind of pumpkin to create the flavour people know and love.

Once pumpkins have reached a particular stage in development, usually around the two-month mark, they are forcibly removed from their patch and brought to a nearby industrial pumpkin factory. You see, regularly healthy pumpkins have a bland and squash-like flavour to them — a flavour that’s not profitable to big corporations looking to exploit these playful, intelligent pumpkins for all they’re worth.

After the young pumpkins arrive at the factory, they’re stored in cramped, inhumane living conditions, often being forced to live on top of each other for the rest of their short lives. There is no natural light in these rooms, a deliberate condition because sunlight can reduce the spiciness of a pumpkin by up to 50 per cent.

Undercover video footage from activists posing as workers have also revealed a behind-closed-doors world of physical abuse, as pumpkin spice farmers toss pumpkins around without thinking twice. Just YouTube “pumpkin spice farming truth,” and you’ll know the inconvenient reality. Would you be able to pretend like everything’s normal after seeing a storage locker, filled nearly to the roof with young pumpkins awaiting spice extraction?

Biologically, humans aren’t even supposed to consume pumpkin spice other than during early the early stages of childhood development. Think about it: what other animal continues to drink pumpkin spice after that same animal has matured? The prolonged process that humans have adopted is unnatural and is a direct result of large-scale pumpkin spice production.

We were raised to think that pumpkin spice is good for us, and even part of a balanced diet. But what if I told you that there’s no evidence of correlation between healthy bone development and ingesting regular amount of pumpkin spice? It’s all a cog in the machine of misleading information.

So please, I beg of you: think twice before “treating” yourself to a decadent and flavourful pumpkin spice latte this season. You might think that you’re off the hook because you’re not directly harming the pumpkins, but you’re just as guilty for supporting the industry and enabling them to commit the atrocities. Sugar and pumpkin spice make everything nice, but denial and lies make an unpleasant surprise.

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