The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Are onions poison and is there any validity to this claim?  (Read 41903 times)

Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Too Much Free Time Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31532
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Some one sent this to me through my daughter...



ONIONS


         In 1919 when the flu killed 40 million people there was this         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 surprise, 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, (probably only two rooms back then).          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. 
         
         Now, I heard this story from my hairdresser in AZ.           She said that several years ago many of her employees were          coming down with the flu and so were many of her  customers.         The next year she placed several bowls with  onions around in her        shop. To her surprise, none of her staff got sick. It must work..        (And no, she  is not in the onion business.)
       
         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.  We did it last year and we never got the         flu. 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 case. Whatever,         what have you to lose?  Just a few bucks on onions!
         
         Now there is a P. S. to this for I sent it to a friend in Oregon who         regularly contributes material to me on health issues.  She         replied with this most interesting experience about onions:
                          Weldon, 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 off an onion put one end        on a fork and then place the forked end into an empty jar...placing the         jar next to the sick patient at night. It said 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.
         
       
        This is the other         note.

       LEFT OVER ONIONS ARE POISONOUS
       
         I have used an 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....will buy         smaller onions in the future.I had the wonderful privilege of touring         Mullins Food Products, Makers of mayonnaise.  Mullins is huge, and         is owned by 11 brothers and sisters in the Mullins family.
        Questions about food poisoning came         up, and I wanted to share what I learned from a chemist.
       
         The guy who gave us our tour is named Ed. He's one of the        brothers Ed is a chemistry expert and is involved in developing most of         the sauce formula.  He's even developed sauce formula for         McDonald's.
       
         Keep in mind that Ed is a food chemistry whiz. During the tour,         someone asked if we really needed to worry about mayonnaise. People are         always worried that mayonnaise will spoil. Ed's answer will surprise         you.  Ed said that all commercially- made Mayo is completely safe.
       
         "It doesn't even have to be refrigerated. There’s no         harm in refrigerating it, but it's not really necessary." He         explained that the pH in mayonnaise is set at a point that bacteria        could not survive in that environment. He then talked about the quaint         essential picnic, with the bowl of potato salad sitting on the table         and how everyone blames the mayonnaise when someone gets sick.

        Ed says that when food poisoning is         reported, the first thing the officials look for is when the 'victim'         last ate ONIONS and where those onions came from (in the potato         salad?). Ed says it's not the mayonnaise (as long as it's not homemade         Mayo) that spoils in the outdoors. It's probably the onions, and if not         the onions, it's the POTATOES.

        He explained onions are a huge         magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. You should never plan         to keep a portion of a sliced onion... He says it's not even safe if         you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it in your refrigerator. It's already         contaminated enough just by being cut open and out for a bit, that it         can be a danger to you (and doubly watch out for those onions you put         in your hotdogs at the baseball park!)
       
         Ed says if you take the leftover 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. Both the onions and the moist         potato in a potato salad will attract and grow bacteria faster than any         commercial mayonnaise will even begin to break down.

        So, how's that for news? Take it         for what you will. I (the author) am going to be very careful about my         onions from now on. For some reason, I see a lot of credibility coming         from a chemist and a company that produces millions of pounds of         mayonnaise every year.'
       
         Please remember 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 and creates toxic bacteria which may cause adverse stomach         infections because of excess bile secretions and even food poisoning.
       
         Please pass it on to all you love and care.     

JP

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3746
    • View Profile

Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 7715
    • View Profile
Are onions poison and is there any validity to this claim?
« Reply #2 on: 24/01/2010 13:16:21 »
An apple a day keeps the doctor away;
An onion a day keeps everyone away.

More seriously, how could an onion attract bacteria or viruses?
If it did then the fact that onions are mildly bactericidal would stop the "contaminated" onion being much of a problem anyway.

Also my mum likes onions, but my dad doesn't, so most of the time there is some, but not much onion in the food.
That means there's often part of a leftover onion in the fridge.
They are both over 70; not bad for two people who have apparently been eating poison all that time.

Madidus_Scientia

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1451
    • View Profile
Are onions poison and is there any validity to this claim?
« Reply #3 on: 24/01/2010 13:45:01 »
Also, it's amazing that the doctor was able to find the virus in the onion without an electron microscope, since they weren't invented until 1931.

Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Too Much Free Time Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31532
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Are onions poison and is there any validity to this claim?
« Reply #4 on: 24/01/2010 19:12:18 »
LOL..loL...I so love you guys and gals! LOL.. I just could not believe it or else I would be one dead girl too.. I love onions, but always refrigerate or freeze left over onion rather then tossing it...

The microscope part is funny! LOL...Nice catch on the microscope Madius...

jpetruccelli  Thank you for that! LOL...

Bored I agree..

Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Too Much Free Time Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31532
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Are onions poison and is there any validity to this claim?
« Reply #5 on: 24/01/2010 19:18:40 »
i
Snopes says false
I love this link it does have some good research on the subject as an old folk lore very cool.. Thank you again..

Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8416
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Are onions poison and is there any validity to this claim?
« Reply #6 on: 24/01/2010 22:47:11 »
They are supposed to be toxic to dogs, so maybe there is something in it. Also, onions have been known to give me gas that makes other people very unwell.

stereologist

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 125
    • View Profile
    • Stereothena
Are onions poison and is there any validity to this claim?
« Reply #7 on: 25/01/2010 03:14:42 »
This has all the earmarks of those long winded baloney stories. I for one do not waste food and often have partial onions saved for days at a time.

The funniest claim was the inspectors asking when the victim last ate onions.

RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 7277
    • View Profile
Are onions poison and is there any validity to this claim?
« Reply #8 on: 25/01/2010 07:15:50 »
Q. Are onions poison ?

Only if you mistake daffodil bulbs for onions ...

Quote
All Narcissus varieties contain the alkaloid poison lycorine, mostly in the bulb but also in the leaves.

On May 1, 2009 a number of school children fell ill at Gorseland Primary School in Martlesham Heath, Suffolk, England after adding a daffodil bulb to soup during a cookery class. The bulbs could often be confused with onions, thereby leading to incidents of accidental poisoning.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissus_%28genus%29#Toxicity

« Last Edit: 25/01/2010 07:17:21 by RD »

LeeE

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
Are onions poison and is there any validity to this claim?
« Reply #9 on: 25/01/2010 11:50:42 »
Definitely false.  For several decades now, I have been keeping half-used onions for up to a week or more before finally using them with no ill effects.  However, I do wrap them in film and keep them in the fridge.

stereologist

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 125
    • View Profile
    • Stereothena
Are onions poison and is there any validity to this claim?
« Reply #10 on: 25/01/2010 13:22:10 »
I did a little looking around the internet and found a number of places where this rubbish has been posted. Here in the US and I'm sure in most countries the sale of onions would require a huge legal notice if there were any chance at all that the product could lead to poisoning.

I think all of us can appreciate the appeal to authority here - the Arizona hairdresser. I am thinking a New Ager in Sedona if there is any truth to this story.

pjs2005

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Are onions poison and is there any validity to this claim?
« Reply #11 on: 14/09/2010 21:46:56 »
Variations of this email have been circulating for a few years now, About.com has an informative article about the veracity of its claims:

Quote
According to science writer Joe Schwarcz, onions are in no sense a "magnet for bacteria." In fact, Schwarcz writes, cut onions contain enzymes that produce sulphuric acid, which inhibits the growth of germs.

graham.d

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2208
    • View Profile
Are onions poison and is there any validity to this claim?
« Reply #12 on: 15/09/2010 09:43:11 »
Onions vs viruses - Unlikely.

Left over onions are poisonous - I think many foods can be poisonous if you leave them to decay and develop moulds of various kinds. If not left an unduly long time I doubt if they are any more poisonous than fresh ones.

Toxicity is not wholly a black and white issue. Many fruit pips and nut kernels contain cyanide but it needs large quantities to cause any harm and they are not, therefore, classed as toxic. As others have pointed out, onions are considered toxic to other animals (dogs and cats for example) though not to humans. However, they do have adverse effects, as Geezer described. Personally, I love onions but have developed an intolerance (not an allergy) to them in recent years and now avoid them where possible. They certainly have an effect on my digestive system which is reacting in a way which is not desirable! Whether this is called toxicity is open to interpretation.

Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8416
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Are onions poison and is there any validity to this claim?
« Reply #13 on: 15/09/2010 18:17:22 »
Mrs G claims I'm trying to poison her when I eat onions  :I

 

SMF 2.0 | SMF © 2011, Simple Machines