Most people are accustomed to seeing orange pumpkins on the front porches when October arrives. You might be surprised to occasionally see a Teal pumpkin. What is the meaning behind this change in the standard color of a Halloween pumpkin?
The Teal Pumpkin Project
The Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) organization is responsible for the Teal Pumpkin Project. That organization hopes to raise awareness about food allergies and the dangers behind them. They also want everyone to be included during the Halloween season, including those who have food allergies.
The Teal Pumpkin Project originated locally in East Tennessee by the Food Allergy Community. Since then, it has spread worldwide. FARE proclaims that teal is the color for food allergy awareness and that has been the case for about two decades. Anyone participating in the project puts a pumpkin painted a teal color outside their door. If you go to that door during Halloween, you will get a nonfood treat.
Food Allergies Are on the Rise
FARE reports that one out of 13 children suffers from a food allergy. Some people consider it to be a minor issue but even a small amount of exposure to an allergen can be serious, even if they typically have a mild reaction. The traditional candy and chocolate treats given out on Halloween include many allergens. Some of those include wheat, eggs, soy, nuts, and milk. If you were to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project, any children who suffer from food allergies will still be able to come to your door.
How to Get Involved
The first step in the process is to paint a pumpkin teal and put it on your doorstep. You can also add your home to the map for the Teal Pumpkin Project. You would need to provide nonfood treats to children, such as spider rings, pencils, stickers, glow sticks or finger puppets.
If you do take part in the Teal Pumpkin Project, you can also provide traditional treats for children who do not have an allergy. The recommendation by FARE is to ask the children or their parents if they have a food allergy and then give them the option of which treat they would like.