Written by Leanna Westerhof. Media by Rachel Koehnemann.
Pumpkin bread, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin pies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cream cheese…
Every year when the autumn season rolls around, the pumpkin flavored frenzy begins. All of a sudden, stores, restaurants, and coffee shops offer pumpkin or apple flavored things on their shelves and menus. Is this just a ploy for restaurants and stores to increase their profits? Of course it is! But we don’t care because these products only come out in abundance once a year and we must seize the opportunity while it lasts.
My theory is that we are a consumerist society and fall flavored things are just a by-product of an economic system that leaves us wanting more. It’s a marketing strategy that keeps us coming back every year. These products are seen as a novelty, like we haven’t tasted them before.
We associate the taste of a pumpkin chai with fall-y goodness. To the public, this flavor represents and celebrates the changing of leaves, crispness of cold weather, harvest, season of hot apple cider, and bonfires. The harvest was a critical time of celebration and preparation for the survival of the human race. It celebrated the end of a hard year’s work and having food for the winter. It was preparation for the harsh winter months ahead.
Nowadays, we have stocked super markets and cabinets full of food. We don’t have to be as attentive to the change of the seasons unless you’re a farmer. Our society has changed. It is overrun with consumption. Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, is the day after Thanksgiving. We celebrate how much stuff we have accumulated.
I am not excluding myself or my family from this accusation, just making a point. During Black Friday we shop for clothes, televisions, movies, phones, etc. Our ancestors celebrated with family and friends because of their hard work. Their celebration was because they wouldn’t starve that winter.
In the words of John Wesley, “Earn all you can, save all you can, and give all that you can.”