NJ’s Pasta-Gate Solved?

by Tom Lavecchia
nj pasta-gate

By now, half the world knows about Pasta-Gate. And by that, I mean I’ve received texts from friends as far as Croatia. But now, at least, the mystery appears to have been solved thanks to some intel from the “carb-loader’s” neighbor.

It all started with a large quantity of dumped pasta, specifically 500 pounds of spaghetti, elbows, and alphabet pasta, which was discovered near a river in Old Bridge, New Jersey. Nina Jochnowitz, a public official, posted about the strange incident on Facebook after being informed by a concerned resident. She took pictures of the area and forwarded them to the mayor’s office. The cleanup crew was dispatched to the site, but the identity of the person who dumped the pasta remained unknown. The incident generated significant interest on local Facebook groups and Reddit, where people speculated about where the pasta might have come from, ranging from a restaurant or catered event waste to a practical joke offered up for the Jersey Shore cast.

After much speculation about the origin of the dumped pasta, a local NBC affiliate finally uncovered the truth by interviewing a neighbor, Keith Rost, who revealed that he knew who had left the pasta. According to Rost, a military veteran was clearing out his deceased mother’s home, which was up for sale, and found a stockpile of food that she had left behind. He decided to dispose of it in the woods, which led to the massive pasta dump.

During an interview, Keith Rost expressed his belief that the veteran was simply trying to declutter his parents’ house, which was likely well-stocked due to COVID. Rost added that the habit of keeping a cupboard filled with cans and pasta was a generational thing, as his grandparents used to do the same.

Old Bridge Police

Although the pasta looked cooked in the photos, it was actually dry when it was dumped in the woods. However, it became wet and limp after several days of rain. The incident reminded Jochnowitz of the town’s lack of bulk-garbage pickup service, which affects almost 70,000 residents. Old Bridge is the only town in its county that does not offer this service, which has been a source of controversy for many years, according to Jochnowitz’s interview with The New York Times.

The neighbor who revealed the pasta dumper’s identity, Keith Rost, is just happy that the pasta has been cleaned up. He believes that the person responsible was simply trying to clear out their parents’ house and get rid of the surplus dry pasta. Rost, who recently moved next door, is relieved that he doesn’t have to deal with the potential consequences of the pasta dump, such as maggots and flies.

Nina Jochnowitz, the public official who brought attention to the incident, has been in contact with the family responsible for “NJ Pasta-Gate” to discuss the matter privately. She has also maintained a sense of humor about the situation, jesting that she hopes the culprit isn’t eating as many carbs as they dumped.


About the Author/s

All posts

Tom is a lifelong New Jersey resident, Rutgers and FDU alumni and the publisher of The Digest.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

Yes, I would like to receive emails from The Digest Online. Sign me up!

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: New Jersey Digest. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact