A seedy invention

A seedy invention

Time and automation come for us all, and it seems that automation now has come for the stereotypical Israeli sitting on a street corner, chewing sunflower seeds and spitting out the shells.

Yes, the “LLSY Whole Sunflower Seeds Automatic Peeling Machine” not only promises to shell seeds and thereby “protect your teeth,” but also, using “optical detection,” “distinguish between good and bad seeds.” As its Amazon listing cautions, “Aflatoxin in bad seeds will affect people’s health.”

The video that circulated online this week looks impressive. All the user has to do is choose one of the four differently sized slots, insert a seed in that slot, and voila! Out comes a shelled seed and some pieces of shell.

Sadly for fans of progress, though perhaps happily for street-corner seed-spitting Israelis, the actual Amazon reviews suggest that this latest bit of anti-aflatoxin automation is not quite ready for prime time.

“This thing doesn’t work the way it is supposed to,” complains one reviewer. “Half the time the seed gets stuck and the other half the seed come out in crumbs.”

It turns out that there may be no substitute for good old-fashioned Israeli gnaw-how.

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