2015 has not been a great year for the traditional foods of Thanksgiving. A bird flu virus threatened to wipe out the 2015 turkey flocks earlier in the year and now it appears canned pumpkin may be in short supply for Thanksgiving.
According to crop experts in Illinois, the country’s top pumpkin-producing state, forecasts show supplies of canned pumpkin falling short compared to past years and consumers may find grocer shelves empty of the product by the middle of November.
“I would not wait until Nov. 20,” University of Illinois professor Mohammad Babadoost said, referencing the Nov. 26 holiday. “I’d buy it whenever it comes to the store.”
Summer rainfall is blamed for the shortage because it took out a large amount of the 2015 pumpkin crop. Experts claim 90 percent of canned pumpkin in the United States comes from Illinois.
Libby’s corporate and brand affairs director Roz O’Hearn said the company, which has had a central Illinois pumpkin-processing plant since 1929, is confident it will have enough pumpkin for autumn holidays.
But, she said, “once we ship the remainder of the 2015 harvest, we’ll have no more Libby’s pumpkin to sell until harvest 2016.”
Now might be a good time to explore how to make pumpkin pies with pumpkin that doesn’t come from a can: