In this trial you may classify me as a hostile witness, but I will try to present the evidence fairly for both sides.
I was sitting at a ball game minding my own business, yelling at the umpire like you are supposed to. The game was dragging on when I noticed the guy sitting on the tier above me to my right. I had been hearing a rattling sound from a plastic bag followed by a crunching sound and then a repeated, "spittui" sound from him. I hadn't paid much attention to it until I felt something hitting my shoe top. I looked down to see sunflower seed hulls all over the floor of the stands. Slobbery, slimy sunflower seed hulls. They covered the floor all around my feet, and some of them had landed on top of my shoes.
This guy would reach into his plastic bag and fill his mouth so full of sunflower seeds he looked like a chipmunk at a peanut festival. He would then crack the hull of one seed with his teeth, chew up the kernel and swallow it, and spit the hull out the side of his mouth next to me. It was covered with his saliva, and he never paid any attention where it landed.
I was so repulsed by this I considered reaching over and slapping his stuffed jaws, but after noticing he was much larger and younger than myself I decided to choose another course of action.
I did what any healthy, red blooded American guy would do. I moved over to another seat. But when I looked down from this seat the floor was covered with sunflower seed hulls there, as well. They were everywhere.
Now, I used to be a janitor and a school bus driver and I can tell you from experience, sunflower seed hulls are among the hardest things there are to sweep up. If they fall with the split part down, they act like a suction cup and the broom slides right over them. About the only way to get them up is to reach down with your fingernail and flip them over, and who wants to touch something someone else has slobbered all over?
All I could think about at the ball game was, "Somebody is going to have to clean up this slimy mess!"
I do have to admit there is a kind-of fascination at how this guy, with his mouth so full, could select one seed, crack it open, extract the kernel, eat it and spit the hull out without losing the whole mouthful, or swallowing a bunch of seeds whole.
I don't think it is, but my objection might be from jealousy on my part. I have tried eating those things as he did, eating the kernel and spitting out the hulls and I can't get it done. I end up swallowing parts of the hulls.
I don't think it is nice or sanitary to chew and spit something out and make such a mess for someone else to have to clean up. It is repulsive is what it is, especially when it lands on your shoes. So, what can be done about it?
Someone needs to tell these people they sell already de-hulled kernels. Eating these doesn't make a mess. But this takes away the joy of chewing and spitting which could be the only reason they eat the silly things to start with. Take this away and they may go back to chewing tobacco and dipping snuff which are equally disgusting. Besides other than the salt on the hulls, the seed don't taste very good, in my humble opinion.
But Wikipedia Online tells us sunflower seeds are good for us. It says, "Sunflower seeds are more commonly eaten as a healthy snack than as part of a meal. They can also be used as garnish or ingredients in various recipes." It also says the seeds can be sprouted and eaten in salads. They are making sunflower seed butter, like peanut butter. We learn "when in-shell seeds are processed, they are first dried. Afterwards, they may also be roasted or dusted with salt or flour for preservation of flavor."
"Sunflower seeds sold by the bag are either eaten 'plain' (salted only) or with a variety of flavorings added by the maker including barbecue, pickle, hot sauce, bacon, ranch and nacho cheese as well as others." Yum-yum!
" In-shell sunflower seeds are particularly popular in Mediterranean and Asian countries, including Egypt, Syria, Israel, Turkey and Malaysia. They are also popular in Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Romania, Spain, China, Morocco, Iran, Canada and the United States."
You don't suppose sunflower seeds might be a contributing factor to the hostility and belligerence of some of those countries, do you? One guy spits a wet hull on his neighbor and the next thing you know a whole clan is wiped out.
Another concern is the hulls are composed mostly of cellulose. They decompose slowly and are being burned as biomass fuel. One of these days your new car may be putting along going "crunch, crunch, spitui, spitui" and leaving the highways strewn with half-burnt soggy sunflower seed hulls.
The oil from sunflower seeds is being processed into margarines. It is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids and low in saturated fats. It also may become a renewable bio-source for hydrogen. Do you reckon they will make hydrogen bombs out of it?!
Wikipedia continues, "In addition to providing linoleic acid (an essential fatty acid), sunflower seeds are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, some amino acids (especially tryptophan), vitamine E several B vitamins (especially thiamine, pantothenic acid, and folic acid). Additionally, they are rich in cholestrol-lowering phytosterols. Furthermore, sunflower seeds boast a low glycemic index (having to do with blood sugar) as well as high levels of protein and minerals including magnesium and copper.
Well, there you have the evidence. What is your ruling? Should we allow these nasty things to be sold in our stores, or should we deport them all to Cuba? Maybe we should gather up the people who make such messes with their sunflower seeds and send them to Cuba.
It might be better to just put away our prejudice and get along with each other, and quit yelling at the umpire.