Dr-Universe-230MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – Try as we might, it can be hard to hold back tears while chopping up onions.

My friend Lindsey du Toit knows the feeling. She’s a scientist at Washington State University and works with lots of onions. Her research helps farmers grow good vegetables for us to eat.

Lindsey-du-Toit-2015
Lindsey du Toit

“It’s not the onion itself that makes us cry,” she explained, “but a chemical reaction that starts when you cut into it.”

I wondered how exactly this chemical reaction worked. To find out, we set up a microscope in her lab and chopped up a Walla Walla sweet onion. I wiped a few tears from my cheek and slid a tiny piece of onion under the lens.

Read all of this answer from Dr. Universe at https://askdruniverse.wsu.edu/2016/08/22/onions-make-us-cry/.

 

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