The Green Menace

Did you know, that if you inhale a pea, it can sprout and grow in your lungs?

If you didn’t, neither did I until yesterday. Being in quarantine, I have been using social media more to keep my sanity from slipping away. I was scrolling through Facebook, when I stumbled upon this fact:

Shocked, intrigued, and excited by this weird fact, I decided to share it with several friends of mine, one of them being a mother, who, like my own, highly encourages her kids to eat their vegetables. She responded, “. . . that is just an excuse.”

Was it? I wondered, so I investigated.

After skimming a couple of sites, I came upon this statement on The Crazy Facts:

In rare cases, it is possible for an inhaled pea to sprout and grow in the lungs, which can cause problems. Nuts too are able to sprout without sunlight, making them potentially dangerous if inhaled. It is possible, in the case of inhaling a small object, to expel it through the Heimlich manoeuvre, or by sneezing if it is in the nose or upper parts of the respiratory system (

I even found a case of a man, Ron Sveden, who had inhaled a pea and his doctor found it sprouting and growing within his lungs; however, he didn’t stop eating the vegetable (and was greatly relieved that it wasn’t cancer), so this fun fact shouldn’t be used as an excuse to not eat your vegetables.

Watermelon seeds may not sprout in your belly if swallowed (which I was told they would as I kid, and got freaked out once when I accidentally swallowed one), but there is a chance that a pea can grow in your lungs.

“Lies,” replied one of my brothers, “no sunlight.” Which is a very true statement. In order for any plant to survive, it requires sunlight. However, where do most seeds begin their lives? In the darkness of the ground–cut off from the sun. A seed has enough nutrition in it for the plant to begin its root system and to sprout a stem that will shoot towards the surface, breaking through the soil to reach sunlight in order for it can begin photosynthesis, which will then sustain it.

So, it is possible for a pea to grow inside you; however, don’t let this be another fear in your life that keeps you from living. Life is full of risk, and if we don’t take any, we won’t live satisfying lives. Instead, let this fun fact be a motivator for you to slow down, enjoy your food. Instead of shoveling it into your mouth, take the time to taste it and be delighted in conversation. Eating slow lessens the risk of inhaling a pea, and allowing it to sprout within you.

Don’t forget to eat your vegetables.





~Photo Obtained

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