The Daily Feed, The Great Outdoors, WTF?!

Ginkgo Stinko

Ginkgo Berries
Originally uploaded by brownpau

With regard to Wonkette’s report on widespread city stink, the most likely culprit is the malodorous ginkgo seed, which the trees shed in late fall to early winter — to fall all over the sidewalk. The seed is encased in a fleshy berry-like layer called a sarcotesta, which contains butanoic acid — a chemical found in vomit, feces, and rancid butter. (And delicious parmesan cheese!)

You’ve probably had to step through a few layers of ginkgo while walking around for the last few weeks, thus carrying a sarcotesta-rrific fragrance on the soles of your shoes around the city, into your homes, offices, on to the Metro, and everywhere else. Do yourself and everyone else a favor and wipe your feet thoroughly before going indoors. Gladly, winter is arriving, and ginkgo seeds will not be dropping from the trees for much longer.