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Pumpkin Seeds, Made In America (NY Times)

China may be the world’s largest producer of pumpkins, but Geneva’s own Stony Brook WholeHeartedFoods is bringing production home to upstate New York. 

Stony Brook looks to local farms for their New York grown and made seed snacks, batch-milled culinary oils and seed powders. These include seeds of squash, pumpkin, flax, hemp, and sunflowers grown in neighboring counties in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. 

It is estimated that at least 75 percent of the seeds sold in the United States are imported from China where cheap labor for hulling the seeds keeps costs down. 

Stony Brook, instead, sources locally with seed that can be traced to its sources. They use oilseed pumpkins, sometimes called Styrian pumpkins, which contain green seeds that have no hulls as well as other seeds from area farms.

Stony Brook WholeHeartedFoods is the only company in the U.S. producing culinary oil from vegetable seed waste, and one of the only regional producers of culinary oils using 100% USA grown seeds.

The seeds for snacks are brined in sea salt and barrel-roasted in small batches. 

Those pressed for oil are again roasted in small batches before processing in an expeller press. Pumpkin and squash seed oils are vegetable-based oils with poly- and monounsaturated fats, phytonutrients like lutein, and zeaxanthin, and beneficial phytosterols.  They are a good source of Vitamin E, especially the butternut squash seed oil and sunflower oils. 

Once the oil is extracted, the result is “presscake” and is reserved for seed flours. The presscake is high in protein and nutrients from the seed hulls.

Stony Brook’s production kitchen is located at the Cornell Agriculture & Food Tech Park in Geneva, New York, in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region.Read the full story on NYTimes.com: Pumpkin Seeds, Made In America