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Why do people cry while chopping onions?

Today, I have read an article in the local online newspaper about the reason why we almost cry while chopping onions. It turns out that onions have substances named lacrimators, which are being damaged while cutting. They irritate the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract and eyes. Tears are our body defense reaction.

To make onion chopping more comfortable, we may try these ways:

1) Freeze the onions before chopping;

2) Put the knife into cold water before chopping;

3) Put on a diving mask;

4) Hold some drinking water in your mouth or chew a chewing gum while chopping onions.

Credit for the image: Pixabay

  • Question of

    Have you ever heard about the reason why onions make us cry?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you know other methods to prevent eye irritation while chopping onions?

    • Yes
    • No


What do you think?

13 Points


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  1. I was taught to breathe through my mouth and not my nose while chopping. I think it works but I can’t recall evaluating this technique. It must work because I also don’t recall onion irritation for so long now.
    The swim goggles – LOL!


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