To say 2020 is a wild year is an understatement — aside from the obvious thing that’s defined 2020, in July, some people across the US received an unsolicited parcel from China containing seeds. Motherboard’s editor-in-chief went to great lengths to find out what people did with those seeds, and you should read his report.
As you’d expect, the strange packages caught the USDA’s attention, urging people to mail the seeds to the agency or to their state’s plant regulator. Some people listened to the government and others, not so much. Here are some interesting details from Motherboard’s report on how overwhelmed agricultural authorities were and what likely happened to people who kept the seeds:
- A woman from New Mexico thought a seed company sent them to her, so she decided to plant the seeds and realized it was a bad idea because the seeds began to kill everything in her garden.
- According to several government documents obtained by Motherboard, some people actually ate the seeds.
- Over 600 people in Michigan reported receiving seeds, and 30 planted them, including one resident who mistakenly thought they were the strawberry seeds they ordered on Amazon until they realized the seed produced black and green mold.
- North Carolina had about 1,300 reports, and 60 people decided to plant them with varying results. One person managed to grow oregano, and they reportedly consumed that oregano.
Following the seed fiasco, Amazon announced this month that it would ban the sale of foreign plants entirely.
The way people reacted to the random seed packages are interesting, some reasonable, and some very odd. You can read the entire report over at Motherboard.