Rob Baur is generally a straightforward, sensible man. A senior operations analyst at an Oregon sewage treatment utility company, he’s responsible for research and development in the wastewater field, something he’s been doing for 33 years. ‘I’ve had one wife, one employer’, he says, ‘try to keep it simple.’ He’s a liberal sort of fellow who loves The Simpsons.
It’s the latter point that has given Rob Baur 15 minutes of fame that have lasted seven years. In 2003, inspired by an episode of The Simpsons, he grafted together a tobacco root and a tomato stem to make ‘tomacco’.