Pumpkins found to absorb pesticides from soil

Pumpkins are not only good for jack-o’-lanterns, pie, and carrying Cinderella home — they are also extremely effective at drawing persistent organic pollutants like the toxic pesticide DDT out of soil, according to a new study by Canadian researchers. They tested rye grass, tall fescue, alfalfa, zucchini, and pumpkins, but the oddly Halloween-specific orange gourd won by a large margin. While the Canucks acknowledged that phytoremediation — the use of plants to clean contaminated sites — will never fully replace more high-tech methods, they suggest that it offers a “green solution” that may work well in communities and countries where such technology is not available. Obviously, DDT-ridden pumpkins would not be used for pies or jack-o’-lanterns (unless some sicko just wasn’t satisfied with razors in apples). Rather, they would be buried or incinerated.