For years, Americans have been enjoying pumpkin spice in their food and drinks every fall. They put it in their lattes, their pies, and even their beers.
But do consumers know where their pumpkin spice comes from? Is SpiceCorp, the world’s largest producer of pumpkin spice, being honest with consumers about its inhumane spice farming practices?
For the first time ever, our investigative reporters were given an inside look behind SpiceCorp’s Nutmeg Curtain. What they found exposed the dark, ugly truth behind pumpkin spice factory farming.
“They Never See the Light of Day”
From the day a SpiceCorps pumpkin is born until the day it is ground into spice, it will never see daylight. SpiceCorp’s elite team of scientists genetically engineers the optimum pumpkin in their labs before transferring them in utero to one of the hulking hangar-like structures where they are grown. From day one in these facilities, they are packed in side by side with no room to move. The close quarters leave them no option but to urinate and defecate all over one another.
There are no green pastures here, no fresh air. The reek when one enters one of these facilities is nearly unbearable. Only the slightest hint of ginger in the air reminds one of what these miserable creatures will one day become.
At one week old, the engineers begin pumping the baby spiced pumpkins with a series of hormones and steroids that make them grow unnaturally fast and large. To ensure they never lose their spice, the pumpkins are injected four or five times a day with nutmeg and clove, and cinnamon is sprayed from overhead sprinklers at hourly intervals. Any pumpkins that are deemed defective are brutally killed by being smashed against the ground or being left outside to be devoured by squirrels.
At three months old, the pumpkins are ready to be ground into spice. A conveyor belt transports them by the hundreds, dropping them into a giant blender. Even the farmers who work here wear earmuffs so they don’t have to hear the screams of pumpkins as they are ground into dust. Occasionally a pumpkin will survive this ordeal. When this happens, a farmer will matter-of-factly cut its throat then pulverize it by hand.
Perhaps the most difficult thing to observe is the psychological torture imposed on these pumpkins. In each facility, the voices of basic bitches are blasted over loudspeakers 24/7 to immunize them to their ultimate fate.
Consumers Just Don’t Care
“All of our practices adhere strictly to FDA regulations and industry standards,” said SpiceCorp Chief Operating Officer Josiah Groundberry. “The fact of the matter is we provide a quality product that the American people crave. And we’ve always been one of the nation’s biggest donators to pumpkin-welfare charities.”
As horrendous conditions continue at SpiceCorp’s factory farms, demand for pumpkin spice has continued to grow year after year. Rather than insist on more humane farming practices, consumers have chosen to look the other way.
A niche culture of locally-grown, organic pumpkin spice farms has popped up in spice meccas like Seattle and Boston, but their market share is still less than one percent. Many craft spicers say SpiceCorp actively tries to muscle them out of the market with money or, if that fails, intimidation.
“We used to have a whole network of local pumpkin spice growers here, but one-by-one, SpiceCorp has bought them out,” said Travis Day, who runs a small pumpkin spice farm outside Raleigh, NC. “Now there’s less than a dozen independent spicers left in the area. We just can’t keep up with their prices or distribution system.”
Among SpiceCorp’s biggest customers are coffee giants Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, who many activists say have ignored their supplier’s inhumane farming methods. Both companies declined to comment for this article.
Many pumpkin spice activists worry they may be fighting a losing battle against SpiceCorp. As this year’s spice season rolls into full swing, one thing is clear — the American people will do anything to keep a cheap, steady supply of pumpkin spice flowing through their veins.