Mystery of 500lbs of cooked pasta dumped in woods has been solved
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The im-pasta-ble discovery of 500lbs of cooked pasta dumped in a New Jersey woods has been somewhat solved by local residents.
The mountain of cooked carbs was found late last month along a creek bank and consisted of a delicious melange of spaghetti, ziti and elbow macaroni that was cold and without sauce or parmesan (nothing like mama used to make).
A local resident taking a stroll along a wooded area near their home in Old Bridge Township, New Jersey, US, made the starchy discovery.
The resident contacted their township to report the carb load and then contacted Nina Jochnowitz, a local advocate, who previously ran for city council in the sixth ward.
Jochnowitz took photos of the strange sight and shared them to Facebook on 28 April.
Conspiracy theorists and locals went to town as the scrummy snaps went viral with some pun-tastic ideas as to how the Italian feast got there and what should happen to the culprits behind it.
"It was pasta expiration date," said one person on Reddit.
"We should send the perpetrators to the state penne tentiary,” another quipped.
But after some solid - and stodgy - detective work the truth has come to the boil.
Residents of the Middlesex County town guessed that the pasta piles came from a nearby house that had been put up for sale after the owner sadly died.
The son of the deceased property owner was allegedly clearing the property - including the pantry - and found a large supply of expired groceries.
Neighbour Keith Rost told NBC: "I mean, I really feel like he was just trying to clear out his parents' house and they were probably stocked up from COVID."
It seems he took the pasta out of its packets and discarded the stale, dried kitchen-cupboard staple in the stream.
Due to heavy rain in the area at the time, the pasta became waterlogged, swelled and appeared to look like it had been cooked.
But Italian-food jokes aside, the dumped pasta could actually have caused an environment issue on top of being wasteful.
Jochnowitz told The Philadelphia Inquirer: “You might say, ‘Who cares about pasta?’ But pasta has a pH level that will impact the water stream.
“The water stream is important to clean up because it feeds into the town’s water supply."
But she admits that the Public Works were quick to act and shovel away the spaghetti saying it was 'one of the fastest clean-ups I’ve ever seen here'.
"The township heard or read the comments and responded by doing a rapid cleanup of the river basin and pasta dump. As my friend called it a 'Mission Impastable!!!'" Jochnowitz wrote on Facebook.
She also told PEOPLE that the pasta 'would be in better shape if the present administration, which has refused bulk garbage collection, would have it'.