Food & Drinks

REVEALED: Why cutting onions make you cry - and how to chop them without becoming a blubbering mess

Sadly, there seems to be only one true way to stop those sad onion tears.

By Holly Royce
Seriously, why do onions make us cry? How do those tasty little vegetables manage to reduce even the best of us to tears?
It's a kitchen question for the ages, right up there with the difference between bicarb and baking soda and how to how to cook beetroot without making a mess.
Onions make you cry because of unstable chemicals.
Specifically, a chemical irritant called syn-propanethial-S-oxide.
With a name like that, who can blame them for being unstable?
The chemical is released as a noxious gas, which wafts up, hits your eyes and causes the tears/water in your eyes to turn to sulfuric acid which in turn burns and causes more tears.
Ah nature, so beautiful.
WATCH: Check out this drool-worthy recipe for the ultimate guacamole below (it includes onions!) Story continues below.

So, how do you cut onions without crying?

Let's be honest, the real reason you're here is that you want to know how to cut onions without crying.
There are a few prevalent myths out there, including wearing Googles which experts have dismissed.
Speaking to NPR, chemist Eric Bloc explained:
"There are some ridiculous suggestions that have been made - like wear goggles. That doesn't really work," Bloc said.
"Really tight goggles may stop the chemical from getting directly to your eyeballs, but they won't prevent it from seeping up through your mouth and nose. Plus, goggles just look silly."
So what can you do?
Bloc says that the only sure fire way to reduce tears is to cut the onions in a well-ventilated area near a fan or something that will offer a stream of air blowing away from your face.
Perhaps ask your sous chef if they wouldn't mind blowing into your eyes, it's their job to make you look good after all.
Also helpful is chilling your onions before cutting as the gas released is less volatile when cold.

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