There were theories that a caterer with a last-minute cancellation for a wedding or a restaurant that cooked for a football team may have dumped it near the creek.
What if you go for a hike and find hundreds of pounds of pasta in the woods? That's what happened along a creek in Old Bridge Township, New Jersey, last week. The sudden and unexplained appearance of the mushy spaghetti, macaroni and ziti left authorities and neighbors baffled as they could not figure out how the noodles ended up in the woods, reports The Washington Post.
The pictures of the pasta along the creek were posted on Facebook groups by Nina Jochnowitz, a community advocate who unsuccessfully ran for city council in the suburban town many years ago. It was posted on April 28 on the local groups. She was alerted by a resident about the heaps of spaghetti that appeared and she went to check the scene herself.
“It’s not the worst thing I’ve seen in these woods,” Jochnowitz said. She added that a lot of people dump stuff in the woods, like discarded furniture, etc., as the township does not provide garbage pickup services.
Old Bridge is right by Cheesequake State Park. I think it makes sense that pasta grows in the woods there. pic.twitter.com/5qfMthdHEu— Andy Kim (@AndyKimNJ) May 3, 2023
Jochnowitz, a scientist by training, confirmed that it was more than an overturned bowl of bucatini and that someone had dumped hundreds of pounds of spaghetti, macaroni and alphabet shapes in large piles, reports The New York Times. “There was literally 25 feet of pasta that had been dumped,” she said. However, she was worried about the environmental impact of dumping pasta and letting it decompose there. She claimed that she contacted local officials about the issue but did not receive a response to her email or voicemail. So, she posted about it on social media.
This is prepastarous.— Kristen Mag (@kristenmag) May 4, 2023
It’s an impastable task but mr nobody’s gotta do it!— foodmasku (@foodmasku) May 4, 2023
Hallmarks of the Tagliatelle Syndicate— Stu 🚐 🚘🚇💺🚉 (@stuloeser) May 4, 2023
There's carb-loading, and then there's carb unloading.— Comic Book Yeti (@ComicBookYeti) May 3, 2023
Either way, this is pasta point of no return.
The post soon went viral. People started to share the pictures rapidly. And then it went from a local grievance to a worldwide pasta puzzle. “I didn’t expect it to go viral at all,” said Jochnowitz. “I had no idea the global reach of spaghetti.”
Yes, I did cook pasta recently. But nope, I have not been anywhere near Old Bridge, New Jersey. 😤 https://t.co/yg24gJKkSO— Sharon Adarlo (@sadarlo1) May 4, 2023
The picture was also posted on Reddit by u/stormborn72. It was captioned, "Estimated 300-400 lbs of pasta dumped in Old Bridge." People had their own jokes and memes about the situation. u/JeffRyan1 commented, "Italian grandmas: why would someone dump four servings of pasta in the woods like that?" u/ChippyLipton wrote, "This has to be the most NJ crime that has ever been done." u/LkButler said, "Is it possible that someone might have just tripped and their pocket spaghetti fell out?" u/AspireAgain expressed, "This is a crime. They forgot the sauce."
Moreover, it also became the talk of the town about who might have dumped the pasta and why. There were theories that a caterer with a last-minute cancellation for a wedding or a restaurant that cooked for a football team might have dumped it along the creek.
Denise Bloom, an administrator of a local Facebook group, said that's all they are talking about in Old Bridge. She said that a few residents have been posting pictures of a few noodles on the ground and calling their renditions an "impasta." The lack of bulk-trash service in Old Bridge has been a major issue as close to 67,000 residents live in the area. “It’s been a point of contention for many years,” said Jochnowitz.
Himanshu Shah, the town business administrator, said in an email to NYT that after the photos went viral, the Department of Public Works visited the site and found “what appeared to be 15 wheelbarrow loads of illegally dumped pasta along a creek in a residential neighborhood.” The Police Department also sent an officer to take a report. Two Public Works employees then cleaned up the pasta in an hour and disposed of it properly, said Shah.
Nina Jochnowitz, a community activist in Old Bridge, tells @mlevenson that she knows who dumped the pasta and that it was not a restaurant.— Shlomo Schorr (@OneJerseySchorr) May 4, 2023
“It was a private residence, and I’m in conversation with the family via an individual who knows the family," she said. https://t.co/cP7fEyWjm2
Jochnowitz claimed that she got to know that the pasta was dumped by a private residence and not a restaurant. “It was a private residence, and I’m in conversation with the family via an individual who knows the family," she said.