Today, hundreds of thousands of pumpkin carvers will simply discard their pumpkin's seeds.
I believe tossing out pumpkin seeds is a terrible waste. Pumpkin seeds, roasted with salt and butter, are a delicious and nutritious snack. And they aren't difficult to make: separate out the pumpkin seeds, wash them well with water, dry on paper towels overnight, and then fry in butter (or toast in oven) until golden brown.
But to say "tossing out pumpkin seeds is wasteful" suggests that the person doing the tossing was, in some sense, making a mistake.
Now, it could be that people who throw away pumpkin seeds are simply ignorant - they do not know how to toast the seeds, nor do they know how delicious salted and freshly toasted pumpkin seeds taste. Lack of knowledge is preventing them from achieving a Pareto-efficient allocation of resources:
Implicit in my belief is a whole series of value judgements:
A judgement about the tastiness and nutritional value of toasted pumpkin seeds.
A judgement about the value of time spent washing orange slime off pumpkin seeds versus time spent doing any number of other activities. Perhaps the people who are throwing away pumpkin seeds are in fact the ones who are on the Pareto frontier. They are the ones who are rationally assessing the situation and deciding, no, it is not worth spending an hour preparing toasted pumpkin seeds when I can buy something better tasting and equally nutritious for a couple of dollars.
A judgement about other people - and a presumption that the pumpkin-seed-tossers are ignorant/irrational/wasteful, rather than knowledgeable/rational/wise users of resources.
Yet sometimes "that's wasteful" means nothing more than "I would have done things differently, because what I value in life is different from what you value in life." It's o.k. for people to make different value judgements. But we should be honest and open about our beliefs, not dress up normative value judgements as positive statements about the efficiency or otherwise of people's choices.