“Okay so, this man was eating peas, and he accidentally inhaled one, and the pea grew in his lung because it was using the carbon dioxide and nutrients in his lung to get bigger. He went to the doctor’s and they x-rayed him and saw the plant growing. He went to the hospital and the doctor operated on him and took it out, then fed him pea soup as a joke.”
My informant heard this urban legend from his cousin. It’s a pretty blatant message that one should eat slowly and chew their food carefully. This narrative sounds remarkably like the watermelon-seed-in-the-stomach story, and my informant made it quite clear that he didn’t believe a word of the it. He said that his cousin isn’t known for being particularly believable. However, upon further research, it seems that this story is actually true!
An article from ABC news.com states that two years ago a man named Ron Sevden from Massachusetts had a pea go down the wrong pipe and lived with it for a month before going to the doctors, who had to surgically remove it. They even really fed him something with peas in it!
Reference: Blackburn, Bradley. Pea Sprout Removed From Massachusetts Man’s Lung. Aug 11, 2010. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2010/08/pea-sprout-removed-from-massachusetts-mans-lung/