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Q: Solve a Pumpkin Seed argument ? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Solve a Pumpkin Seed argument ?
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: mmatw-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 20 Nov 2002 11:17 PST
Expires: 20 Dec 2002 11:17 PST
Question ID: 111395
Could I have some facts/stats to back me up ---or to prove me wrong---
please; My wife comes from a family where they would roast their
pumpkin seeds and then bite the shells off them before eating (as you
would eat a sunflower seed with a shell on)

I think this is crazy and believe that everyone ELSE in the world eats
the whole pumpkin seed when roasted, shell and all.

Can you help me out?
Subject: Re: Solve a Pumpkin Seed argument ?
Answered By: tutuzdad-ga on 20 Nov 2002 13:14 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear mmatw-ga;

Your question about the proper way to eat pumpkin seeds is an
interesting one. As it turns out, the whole issue is a matter of
personal preference.

The “shell”, or “hull” as it is sometimes called, of a pumpkin seed
isn’t actually a shell at all. It is a naturally occurring fibrous
coat that serves to protect the inner seed (incorrectly referred to by
some as a “nut”). This “shell” is not only edible but considered a
beneficial source of fiber. For centuries, people have reported being
cured of various ailments after a steady diet of unshelled seeds, and
of late, some studies indicate that unshelled seeds may even have a
positive impact on conditions such as urinary tract infections.
Because of the high fiber content found in the hull, pumpkins seeds,
as a dietary supplement, was also used extensively in the late 19th
century and early 20th century as a recommended means of combating
intestinal parasites. In fact, for seventy-three years “The United
States Pharmacopoeia” listed pumpkin seeds as an official medicine for
parasite elimination (from 1863 to 1936). This is, of course, before
the advent of more scientific medicines. It is possible, I suppose,
that one could get too much fiber from eating a huge amount of
unshelled pumpkin seeds, but other than that, the only known danger is
the toxic substance that is produced by a sprouting seed’s embryo. The
seeds should be examined and any found to be sprouting should be

Otherwise, to shell or not to shell, is a matter of personal
preference. The practice of shelling the seeds before eating them
seems to be as common as eating them unshelled. While roasted pumpkin
seeds are indeed eaten whole by many people, most prefer to shell them
before using them as garnishes and ingredients.

I cannot begin to guess whether the two of you are disappointed or
delighted to know that neither of you are wrong, but look on the
bright side; you’ll always be guaranteed to get the lion’s share. Any
man who likes to eat things by the handful would be thankful to share
with someone who prefers to eat things one at a time.

You will find relatively equal support for both methods of consuming
pumpkin seeds in the links below. If it’s any consolation, I feel your
pain. Personally, I prefer to eat them with the shell “on”, but that
doesn’t necessarily make it right. My wife, who, like most wives, is
always right, meticulously shells them while staring at me as if I had
three heads. I hope you find this information helpful and
entertaining. I look forward to working with you again in the near

Best regards;


“Gomar's Illustrated Guide to Eating Pumpkin Seeds”

“Healthworld Online – Foods – Seeds”

“Foodnotes – Pumpkins Seeds”

“Intestinal Parasites”


Pumpkin –

“Toasted Pumpkin Seed Recipe”


Google http:/

“How to eat” pumpkin seeds
Roasted, unshelled, pumpkin, seeds
"Eat the shell" pumpkin, seeds
mmatw-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
ha! what a great, and humourous, answer.  Thank you also darrel-ga for your comment.

Subject: Re: Solve a Pumpkin Seed argument ?
From: darrel-ga on 20 Nov 2002 11:44 PST

I don't have any specific information to back up this information.

But I have asked several people whether they eat whole pumpkin seeds
or whether they peel them. I'm getting mixed opinions. The people who
say you eat the whole seed tell me "it's too much work to peel each
pumpkin seed." But those who shuck seeds consider it "disgusting" to
eat the whole seed.

And I searched the Internet using the search terms: "how to" eat
"pumpkin seeds"

I came up with this interesting site which in excrutiating detail
demonstrates how to shuck a pumpkin seed. (Warning: this site has some
graphic words.) The link is


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