What’s going on with the fake vegetables and fruits in America? Unpacking TikTok’s latest conspiracy

By Abby Amoakuh

Published Jun 27, 2024 at 01:22 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes


“I’m convinced the food in America is being swapped with prop food,” a TikToker commented under a video of content creator @kiva_boddy, who had purchased a watermelon at a local Seattle grocery store that felt and looked suspiciously like rubber. The video, which grossed over 1.4 million views, is reflective of a massive growing trend among US citizens, many of whom are noticing that something weird is going on with their food.


It looks so good but tastes so bad 😭 Have you had a bendable, rubbery watermelon? #rubberwatermelon #watermelon #badwatermelon

♬ original sound - kiva

On a bright summer day, Kiva shopped for and then cut a juicy-looking watermelon for her family. However, her children started bringing the innocuous-looking watermelon back, claiming that the fruit had a weird taste and density.

As Kiva sliced through the remains of the fruit, viewers noticed how difficult it was for her to break apart the watermelon. When the mother finally bit into the fruit herself to assess the problem, her face squirmed in disgust as she quickly noticed that it was not a natural-tasting watermelon.

“It looks so good but tastes so bad,” the creator wrote in the caption. “Have you had a bendable, rubbery watermelon?”

Now, Kiva is not the only American who is reporting that they have countered ‘rubber’ produce which seems artificial. In the past few weeks, social media has been ablaze with a conspiracy that there is something severely wrong with produce in America right now.


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“Why is my fyp full of people finding silicone fruit??? hello???” one user questioned.

“Happy to be in Europe,” another replied.

The prevailing theories are that this is either a government conspiracy to poison the population with plastic food or its simply a negative side-effect of chemical fertilisers and pesticides used in the farming process. Users are thus making recommendations for farmers market, organic food shops, or home-growing certain plants in comment sections.

“And let’s add too that no fruit or vegetables have any smell now! I came from a generation who smelled every fruit and vegetable and I know they have smells that are strong but now nothing at all has a special smell and I am very sad to say that,” one user on Instagram noted.

Another netizen added: “So true!!!! Strawberries don’t smell like strawberries at all! Fruits don’t have any smell no more! How come?!”

We might never get a clear and definitive answer. Instances like these were probably caused by a variety of issues in the production and preservation process. One quick look online reveals that people finding weird things in their food or about their food is definitely nothing new. Not all products can be produced with uniformity so it’s not uncommon to find a couple of weird outliers. That being said, I’m definitely team conspiracy theory.

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