Can eating one-day old sliced raw onions cause food poisoning? Can eating onions make you stronger? Find out the answers to these questions in these fun and interesting facts about onions.
Onions have been a part of the human diet for more than 7,000 years. Archeologists have discovered traces of onions dating back to 5000 B.C., found alongside stones from figs and dates in settlements from the Bronze Age.
Sliced Onions Poisonous? An Urban Myth!
So you’ve sliced an onion but only used half and want to store it in the fridge for later, but you’ve always heard that cut onions are bacteria traps that can become highly poisonous after just one night, developing a toxic bacteria that could cause a stomach infection or even food poisoning. Wrong! According to McGill University’s Office of Science & Society (motto: “Separating Science From Nonsense”), this is an urban myth that needs to be dispelled. Onions, notes McGill, “are not especially prone to bacterial contamination.”
Ancient Egyptians worshipped onions, believing their spherical shape and concentric circles within symbolized eternity. In fact, onions were often placed in the burial tombs of pharoahs, as they were believed to bring about prosperity in the afterlife.
Dog Lovers, Take Note
Onions are the last thing you should be putting in Rover’s bowl. That’s because onions can weaken a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia that, in severe cases, could result in death. Symptoms of anemia in your dog include weakness, vomiting, loss of appetite, dullness and breathlessness, so watch out for these if your pet somehow manages to eat a bag of onions when you’re not looking.
Onions as Currency?
In the Middle Ages, onions were an acceptable form of currency, and was used to pay for rent, goods and services — and even as gifts!
Onions can be a strong weapon in a woman’s battle against osteoporosis as she goes through menopause. That’s because onions destroy osteoclasts, bone cells which resorb bone tissue and weaken bones.
Slicing onions makes most of us cry, but why? The reason is that cutting into it releases sulfuric acid, which reacts with the moisture in our eyes to create a tearful reaction. One way to avoid this unfortunate byproduct of slicing onions is to cut them under running water, or while submerged in a basin of water.
Onions Fight Disease
Onions are rich in quercetin, a powerful flavonoid antioxidant that has been shown to have positive effects in people battling lung cancer. Onions can also be beneficial in treatment of cataracts and even cardiovascular disease.
The World's Largest Onion
According to The Guinness Book of World Records, the biggest onion ever was grown by British farmer Peter Glazebrook, who harvested a monster-sized onion in 2011 that weighed just under 18 pounds.
Can Onions Make You Stronger?
Does eating onions make you stronger? Probably not, but the ancients Greeks thought they could; in fact, onions were eaten by athletes as a strength-booster in the very first Olympic games during the first century A.D.
Onions Can Help Soothe Skin
Sliced onion can sooth insect bites and burns on the skin. In addition, when combined with crushed aspirin and little water, slices of onion are also used as a folk treatment to cure warts.