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No More Crying While Chopping Onions

Does cutting onions make you cry? Well I have good news for you! A team of agricultural scientists from Japan and New Zealand has created a tear-free onion. Through genetical engineering, not only did they turn off the gene that induces the tears in humans, but they created a more flavorful onion too.

Spearheading the study is Dr. Colin Eady, a professor at the University of Wisconsin. He states:

By shutting down the lachrymatory factor synthase gene, we have stopped valuable sulphur compounds being converted to the tearing agent, and instead made them available for redirection into compounds, some of which are known for their flavour and health properties.

The scientists are hoping the tear free onions will become a kitchen staple across the globe. Of course, this will take time; the onions aren't expected to hit the market for another ten years or so. Still it's something to look forward to! Are you excited about the development?


Join The Conversation
celebrity_soup celebrity_soup 9 years
i heard about this stuff at yahoo news, blew me away! ...not really lmao
julieulie julieulie 9 years
Finally! I could definitely use this! Atomicspin, how do you properly finely dice an onion if you cut the heart out?! You have nothing to hold on to for dicing the onion if you don't use it whole and hold on to the peeled-back skin.
atomicspin atomicspin 9 years
I don't understand this. Just cut out the heart first and you'll not have the problem. Also, make sure you use a sharp knife. Less tears if you're not crushing the onion with a dull blade.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
Cool go for it. The reason they're trying to do this to standard white, yellow, and red onions is not everyone wants to use other varieties of onion or go through dumb tricks that don't work to try not to be blinded. Plus when I cut onions its not just me that's effected its my cats - my cats Chloe is cannot breathe if onion oils are in the air - she wheezes and her little eyes swell up. I have to grab a panicked kitty and put her in the bathroom with a cold wet washrag on her face to get the onion oil out of her eyes and off her nose. And she hasn't even set foot in the kitchen. She's just that sensitive to the oils. One can genetically modify an food without ever stepping foot in a lab. People are so ridiculous about this stuff, such irrational fears over this stuff. How do you think we get Valencia Oranges our current Americanized Bananas or Seedless grapes and other hybrid fruits and vegetables? Selective breeding by horticulturists aka genetic modification. It's been going on FOREVER. Weather it happens in a lab or on a farm its been going on since people gave up hunting and gathering and start to pursue agriculture. Geez, my nephew has been genetically modifying his crops in his backyard since he got a microscope and learn to make his own greenhouse partitions. We have brococorn and Brusselcoli anything he could of dream and cross pollinate he did and does - he used to go to future farmers meetings and talk with other kids who were doing the same backyard hybriding. Just go to any county fair and ask the people growing the prize tomatoes, ask how old the seed stock is for their prize tomato plant is and if they've breed one strong plant with an another and you'll get a definite yes. It's genetic modification/manipulation. Oh and there are already onions that don't make you cry when you cut them - SWEET ONIONS. The sweet varieties have less of the chemical that makes you cry. If its really a problem for you use a Vidalia or some other sweet onion but watch out sweet onions can be hot, small, seasonal and expensive. Oh googles don't work because the oils particle from the onions are small enough to get inside the googles. Best thing is honestly a full face GAS MASK from a military surplus store or para freezing the onion or a Cuisinart.
animatedpunk animatedpunk 9 years
my roommate says that if you light your burner (on a gas stove) and cut the onion on the counter next to it, it'll keep your eyes from watering. I haven't tried yet though. I usually just breathe through my mouth instead of my nose.
adigirl adigirl 9 years
yes, Im not afraid of change either, but, you know, we must think about these things we are doing today. Technology is growing at such an incredible rate (truly unprecedented)that we seriously need to make sure that while we try new things, we are also going to "look before we leap" and prepare for and secure the future by not taking for granted that mother nature is also very intelligent (if not supremely)and that there is a system in place in nature that works just as it is (when we arent screwing with it).
looseseal looseseal 9 years
I used to be all "what's the big deal?" when I saw people protesting genetically altered food. From what I now understand, it's not that genetically modified food is "bad" for you, per se, it's that genetically modifying anything that has a chance of mingling with other things in nature may have huge ramifications down the line that we're not even fully aware of yet. That's where the danger is. To use a simple example, if any of the seedless crops overtake things around them with their "seedless gene", we're going to be screwed when all plants stop producing seed. To use a more complex example: one superplant overtakes a lesser known type of plant so that that lesser plant dies out. Lesser plant was the primary source of food for some obscure insect. Certain animals need those insects to survive. Stuff like that would have huge effect all the way up the foodchain and by the time it starts to affect humans, it may be too late to do anything about it.
caligirl101 caligirl101 9 years
I agree genetically altered stuff is weird.
Smart-Living Smart-Living 9 years
I was cutting onions last night for a pot of soup and wishing I had some goggles! The tear-free onion would be perfect for me — I'd even pay extra for them :)
AKirstin AKirstin 9 years
...Or you could just cut the onion in half and rinse it for a bit with water. The juices misting up are what makes you cry. We do this in the kitchen I work at and it works every time. And I am *really* sensitive to them.
Marci Marci 9 years
I agree on not liking the genetically altered food. I'll take my onions straight up, tears and all. Leave our food alone!
karisaamy karisaamy 9 years
I wear my old Chemsity googles when I chop onions so that my eyes don't water.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
I hate onion tears - my eyes burn! But yeah, I'm leery of genetically-altered foods. If you throw out the core of the onion, you won't get teary-eyed. There's a bunch of little tricks you can do to avoid getting teary.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
I wear contact lenses and I've never cried cutting an onion. Maybe its just me?
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
That's creepy. I think i will use regular onions even though my eyes water. I don't want to eat anything that has been genetically altered.
kyradk kyradk 9 years
It does sound cool, but shouldn't it be the other way around? Shouldn't we not eat genetically modified food until we find out it's okay? Watch The Future of Food to find out about how they genetically modify food and how they changed the genes... Just because it's available doesn't always mean it's safe OR it's been tested.
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 9 years
sweet! i've tried all sorts of tricks, but nothing works. i start bawling like a baby when ever i chop onions.
GrapeBubbleGum GrapeBubbleGum 9 years
this is pretty awesome. I cry like a baby when I chop onions!
gigill gigill 9 years
Until there's some conclusive proof that genetically altered food is bad for you, I say that I really want these onions! My eyes kill whenever I chop them up.
gigill gigill 9 years
Until there's some more conclusive proof that genetically altered food is bad for you, I say that I really want these onions! My eyes kill whenever I chop them up.
CiaoBella2 CiaoBella2 9 years
I guess I'll still hold some unlit matches in my mouth while chopping onions to prevent crying. I know this sounds weird but it works.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
syako syako 9 years
Yeah I agree ash! Plus, just don't breathe through your nose while you're chopping - that will stop the tears.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Don't you think all this "genetically altered" food is bad for us! I say bring on the tears! At least I know it's a normal onion!!!
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