Facts and Fiction: ONIONS

FICTION: In 1919 when the flu killed 40M people, there was a doctor that visited the many farmers to see if he could help them combat the flu. Many of the farmers and their family had contracted it and many died.

The doctor came upon this one farmer and to his suprise, everyone was very healthy. When the doctor asked what the farmer was doing that was different, the wife replied that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in the rooms of the home. The doctor couldn't believe it and asked if he could have one of the onions and place it under the microscope. She gave him one and when he did this, he did find the flu virus in the onion. It obviously absorbed the bacteria, therefore keeping the family healthy.

Another story from NZ. She said that several years ago, many of her employees were coming down with a flu an so were many of her customers.The next year, she placed several bowls with onions around her shop. To her surprise, none of her staff got sick. It must work!!!

The moral of the story is, buy some onions and place them in bowls around your home. If you work at a desk, place one or two in your office or under your desk or even on top somewhere. Try it and see what happens. If this helps you and your loved ones from getting sick, all the better. If you do get the flu, it just might be a mild cease.

Whatever, what have you lose? Just a  few bucks of onions!!!

A letter from Oregon:
Thanks for the reminder. I don't know about the farmers story, but I do know that I contacted pneumonia and needless to say, I was very ill... I came across an article that said to cut both ends of an onion and put one end on a fork and then placed the forked end into an empty jar... placing the jar next to the sick patient at night. It said that the onion would be black in the morning from the germs... sure enough, it happened just like that... the onion was a mess and I began to feel better.

Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed around the room saved many from the black plague years ago.  They have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties.

But here is the other important side to remember:


I have a used onion which has been left in the fridge, and sometimes I don't use a whole one at one time, so save the other half for later.

Now with this info, I have changed my mind...

Onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion. It's not safe even if you put it in a zip lock back and put in the fridge.

It's already contaminated enough just by being cut open and out for a bit, that it can be danger to  you (and watch out for those onions you put in your hotdogs at the baseball park!)

If you take the left over onion and cook it like crazy, you'll probably be okay. But if you slice that leftover onion and put on your sandwich, you're asking for trouble.

Also, dogs should never eat onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize onions...

Please remember that it is dangerous to cut onions and try to use it to cook the next day, it becomes highly poisonous for even a single night that creates toxic bacteria which may cause adverse stomach infections because of excess bile secretions and even food poisoning.

FACTS:  Now, at least according to a circulating email, onions that are out to get us! And the warning has nothing to do with fouling our breath and destroying our social life. Raw onions are supposedly a “magnet for bacteria” and should not be stored in the fridge even for brief periods. And watch out for those onions on your hot dog, the message warns. Better to stay away from such raw onions unless you are keen to explore the protective properties of your immune system.

Alright then, let’s take a look at the science here. The fact is that onions are not especially prone to bacterial contamination. In fact, quite the opposite. Onions feature a variety of sulphur compounds that have antibacterial activity. Furthermore, cutting an onion triggers the release of enzymes that initiate a chemical  reaction producing propenesulfenic acid, which in turn deconmposes to yield sulphuric acid. It is the sulphuric acid that makes you cry by irritating the eyes! But sulphuric acid also inhibits the growth of bacteria. Also, a cut onion's surface dries out quickly, reducing the moisture that is needed for bacteria to multiply. And of course, to have bacteria multiply, you need some source of bacteria in the first place.

Where would these come from? Bacteria are not spontaneously generated. They have to be somehow present to start with. Cutting boards and dirty hands are a possible source, but food spoilage bacteria do not
become airborne, you need contact.
- Joe Schwarcz
4 Things you did not know about Onions:

1.Onion has been cultivated for at least 7,000 years. The species may have originated in Central Asia or Iran, and was first cultivated in the Middle East. Garlic may have originated in southwestern Asia and was cultivated 5,000 years ago in the Middle East.

2.To impede the stored onion and garlic to sprout, you have to burn the small roots of the bulb on a flame and keep them in aerated places.

3.Onions have more sugar than apples! That's why sauces with onion are sweet. But the active chemicals that give the onion scent hide their sweetness. Onions are also rich in vitamins B6, B1 and B9.

4.Onions make you cry because when sliced, the cells release enzymes that break down sulfur compounds which generate sulfenic acids - unstable chemicals that turn into a volatile gas reaching the eyes through air. To decrease the likelihood of tears, onions can be chilled for 30 minutes prior to cutting in the refrigerator or in cold water. If the root end of the vegetable remains attached, this too reduces the level of tear-provoking gases.

Forwarded by Haydee


  1. While I don't eat raw onion I love to cook with them and I throughly enjoyed the very informative article. Don't know that I would like smelling them in my bed room but it might be worth the odor, if we could remain well because of them. Thank you, send more interesting articles

  2. Hi! Thank you for visiting this site...
    Yup, there's no harm in trying :-)

    There are more tips, facts and fictions on our list... check it out!
    and there's more to come.

    Not only that, you can forward messages too, so we can share it to others as well.

    Looking forward for your next visit.



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