ONIONS -- Who Would've Thought?

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by HozayBuck, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. HozayBuck

    HozayBuck Well-Known Member

    I find this hard to believe because I've watched my Mom who is 91 years old keep her unused onion in the fridge with no ill effects... I don't eat the damn things so i ain't worried about it...but ...how about some comments on this?

    ONIONS -- Who Would've Thought?

    In 1919 when the flu killed 40 million people, there was a Doctor who visited many farmers to see if he could help them combat the flu. Many of the farmers and their family had contracted it, and many died.

    The doctor came upon one farmer, and to his surprise, everyone in the household was very healthy. When the doctor asked what the farmer was doing that was different, the wife replied that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in the rooms of the home (probably only two rooms back then). The doctor couldn't believe it and asked if he could have one of the onions and place it under the microscope. She gave him one, and when he did this, he did find the flu virus in the onion. It obviously absorbed the bacteria, therefore, keeping the family healthy.

    Now, I heard this story from my hairdresser in AZ. She said that several years ago many of her employees were coming down with the flu and so were many of her customers. The next year she placed several bowls with onions around in her shop. To her surprise, none of her staff got sick. It must work... (And no, she is not in the onion business.)

    The moral of the story is, buy some onions and place them in bowls around your home. If you work at a desk, place one or two in your office or under your desk or even on top somewhere.. Try it and see what happens. We did it last year, and we never got the flu.

    If this helps you and your loved ones from getting sick, all the better. If you do get the flu, it just might be a mild case...Whatever, what have you to lose? Just a few bucks on onions!!!

    Now there is a P.S. to this, for I sent it to a friend in Oregon who regularly contributes material to me on health issues. She replied with this most interesting experience about onions: Thanks for the reminder. I don't know about the farmer's story...but I do know that I contracted pneumonia, and needless to say I was very ill. I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion. Put one end on a fork, and then place the forked end into an empty jar...placing the jar next to the sick patient at night. It said the onion would be black in the morning from the germs. Sure enough, it happened just like that...the onion was a mess, and I began to feel better.

    Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed around the room saved many from the black plague years ago They have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties.

    This is the other note: LEFTOVER ONIONS ARE POISONOUS! I have used an onion which has been left in the fridge. Sometimes I don't use a whole one at one time, so I save the other half for later. Now with this info, I have changed my mind. I will buy smaller onions in the future.

    I had the wonderful privilege of touring Mullins Food Products, makers of mayonnaise. Mullins is huge, and is owned by 11 brothers and sisters in the Mullins family. My friend, Jeanne, is the CEO. Questions about food poisoning came up, and I wanted to share what I learned from a chemist. The guy who gave us our tour is named Ed. He's one of the brothers. Ed is a chemistry expert and is involved in developing most of the sauce formula. He's even developed sauce formula for McDonald's. Keep in mind that Ed is a food chemistry whiz.

    During the tour, someone asked if we really needed to worry about mayonnaise. People are always worried that mayonnaise will spoil. Ed's answer will surprise you. Ed said that all commercially-made mayo is completely safe. "It doesn't even have to be refrigerated. No harm in refrigerating it, but it's not really necessary." He explained that the pH in mayonnaise is set at a point that bacteria could not survive in that environment. He then talked about the quintessential picnic, with the bowl of potato salad sitting on the table and how everyone blames the mayonnaise when someone gets sick.

    Ed says that when food poisoning is reported, the first thing the officials look for is when the 'victim' last ate ONIONS and where those onions came from (in the potato salad?). Ed says it's not the mayonnaise (as long as it's not homemade mayo) that spoils in the outdoors. It's probably the onions, and if not the onions, it's the POTATOES.

    He explained, onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion.
    He says it's not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it in your refrigerator.

    It's already contaminated enough just by being cut open and out for a bit, that it can be a danger to you (and doubly watch out for those onions you put on your hotdogs at the baseball park!)

    Ed says if you take the leftover onion and cook it like crazy you'll probably be okay, but if you slice that leftover onion and put it on your sandwich, you're asking for trouble. Both the onions and the moist potato in a potato salad will attract and grow bacteria faster than any commercial mayonnaise will even begin to break down.

    So, how's that for news? Take it for what you will. I (the author) am going to be very careful about my onions from now on. For some reason, I see a lot of credibility coming from a chemist and a company that produces millions of pounds of mayonnaise every year.

    Also, dogs should never eat onions.. Their stomachs cannot metabolize onions.

    Please remember it is dangerous to cut onions and try to use it to cook the next day. It becomes highly poisonous for even a single night and creates toxic bacteria which may cause adverse stomach infections because of excess bile secretions and even food poisoning.
  2. Sonnyjim

    Sonnyjim Prepping

    I had no idea that you couldn't do this. Red onions are big so we normally use only half at a time. Sometimes they are in the fridge for up to 1 week until we use the other half. I've been doing it for years and haven't had any complications as of yet.

  3. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    Hmmm. I'd like to back this up with other research. We've been using raw onions for years, and often I only use half an onion one day, and the rest in the next few days. None of us ever get sick. Sure, maybe we've been llucky. Maybe the onion information above is true. I don't know. But I have to admit I'm a tad skeptical.

    I think I'll still be cautious with mayo until I see other evidence that it "doesn't even need to be refrigerated".

    Dunno about the onion thing... :dunno: I guess I'm off to do some research!
  4. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

    I don't throw anything out---ever!!

    The section of unused onion goes into a ziplock and we have never gotten sick--in fact, we are the couple that never catch anything...our immune systems must be super-charged!!:dunno:

    But, we do take garlic and fish oil tablets daily..but only in the last couple years..

    I will say that my husband felt he was getting a cold; I cut the onion in half and the next day he didn't have a cold..but the onion wasn't colored either.

    Who knows....maybe it worked!!:dunno:
  5. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    Hozay - I heard about that ages ago and have tried it. Just leaving the onion in a bowl didn't seem to do anything for me, so, I just eat-em-up. Raw, cooked, boiled, fried, steamed .... I love my onions!

    Also - garlic is amazing for colds/flu - fresh is best (as always) ... :wave:
  6. LadyIvy

    LadyIvy Member

    Another person who uses leftover onion. I've used it even weeks later and it's been fine. I've never had an issue. It is interesting tho about putting the onion in the room. My youngest seems to be having a rough winter and has been sick many times in the past few months. I may give this a try. I wonder how long the onion will last and how often it needs to be replaced? :confused:
  7. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

    I heard similar things growing up about garlic.
  8. backlash

    backlash Well-Known Member

    Another email fairy tale.
    Been going around for years and it is 100% BS.
    But I do like onions.
    If onions were a magical cure the pharmaceutical company's would be selling them with a Rx for $20 each.:)
    I take Snops.com with a large dose of skepticism but they list it as false.

    snopes.com: Onions Versus Swine Flu
  9. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

    "The moral of the story is, buy some onions and place them in bowls around your home. We did it last year, and we never got the flu."

    I had 2 back surgeries last year and never got the flu, so everyones needs to get cut open to avoid the flu.

    2 yrs ago I was hurt in a car crash and didn't get the flu, so everyone needs to get hit by a 75 yo man driving a truck.

    3 yrs ago I stood on my head and never got the... ok forget it. You get the point.
  10. FreeNihilist

    FreeNihilist Well-Known Member

    Complete Onion information from Drugs.com

    Onions placed around do nothing actually or at least hasnt been proven scientifically. Its an old wives tale. The poisonous onion leftovers is a myth. Everyone Ive known has used leftover onions and it actually seems to mellow the bite of most onions. As long as youre not cross contaminating onions with things like meat/blood or other contaminants, leftover onions are completely safe. Even if leftovers were contaminated, cooking to a proper temp. would destroy any pathogens.

    This link talks about the issue:

    Are Leftover Onions Poisonous? - Urban Legends
  11. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

    I don't automatically discount Old Wives Tales. Somewhere along the the line I believe most have some basis in truth but "modern" science doesn't yet know why they work.
  12. HozayBuck

    HozayBuck Well-Known Member

    well I admit I figured it was BS... but wondered .. now I have heard that plain old charcoal like from a campfire can absorb poisons from food poisoning.. that was interesting... lots of positive things written about it...
  13. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    Here's one of many sites that support using charcoal to alleviate food poisoning:
    How to Use Activated Charcoal to Treat Food Poisoning | eHow.com

    However, most of what I found on a google search said to use activated charcoal. One site said barbeque charcoal isn't as porous as activated charcoal and won't absorb the poisons fast enough, but then if you're not dealing with a deadly poison, treating a poisoning that just makes you sick but isn't life-threatening might do okay with barbeque charcoal:
    Home health: the benefits and risks of charcoal supplements

    One other site I looked at said you can use regular charcoal IF it has not been treated with lighter fluid or other chemicals.

    On the other side, I did a search on whether it was dangerous to ingest charcoal and came up with a site that said people on dialysis shouldn't use charcoal (Complete Charcoal information from Drugs.com) and a site that said it "should not be used to treat the ingestion of corrosive poisons such as lye, acids, fuel oil, alcohols" (Activated Charcoal Cures)
  14. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

    I save partial onions all the time as well, and never got sick from them. I'm the only one in the house who eats them in any quantity so sometimes they're saved for quite a while in the fridge, perhaps even diced up in a plastic baggie or container.

    It could just be the placebo effect making people who put onions by the bed better. Placebos are powerful things sometimes and I really think this is one example.
  15. FreeNihilist

    FreeNihilist Well-Known Member

    Yeah I wouldnt rely on campfire charcoal for serious poisoning but if its your only option its better than nothing. It is however useful for digestive upsets of all manner such as vomiting, diarrhea, heartburn/acidity, etc. Vomiting and diarrhea of course can be quite deadly quite quickly in a survival situation so knowing that campfire charcoal can alleviate it, can be life saving info.
  16. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey


    While this is a nice little story about the 1919 flu, it is just that, a story. It cannot possibly be true because you can’t see the flu virus with an optical microscope! Even the best oil immersion compound microscopes today can only see a particle about 1/2 micron (500 nanometers) in size, and the flu virus is approximately 50-120 nanometers in diameter, that would have been a HUGE feat for emerging technology at that time. And the electron microscope, which CAN see the flu virus was only invented in 1933!

    In fact, in the book The Great Influenza: The story of the deadliest pandemic in history one of the top researchers of the flu virus at that time had become an epidemiologist only because he had a microscope and most of the other medical students did not - and if you wanted to use a microscope in medical school, you had to have your own!

    Also in the book, much of the stories of the several scientists working on creating a flu vaccine centered around their frenzied attempts to identify the causative agent behind the pandemic. The researchers just knew that it was caused by some sort of microorganism, but using all of the resources of the top universities and laboratories of the time, they could not identify it. At one point, they were able to filter out a liquid that made ferrets sick with a flu-like illness when they injected it into them. And bingo, they had the beginnings of the first flu vaccine.

    But at that time, no one had actually seen the flu virus. Only until later during the epidemic did someone come up with an advanced staining technique that allowed the virus to be seen, but this was still a complicated hit-and-miss technique that a rural doctor with a hand-held microscope and an onion could not have POSSIBLY been able to accomplish.

    Chapter 1: The Microscope - Introduction
  17. Riverdale

    Riverdale Well-Known Member

    Onions don't last long enough around here for me to check this out.

    We go through 3# of fresh and ¼# of dehydrated per week (not counting pickled and canned).

    We also go through a LOT of garlic.

    And potatoes :D
  18. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

    And LOTS of breath mints! :lolsmash:
  19. efbjr

    efbjr Well-Known Member

    No big deal...

    Dice the leftover onion, bag and freeze. Use as needed for stews, burgers, etc. :)
  20. jebrown

    jebrown jebrown

    Onions not poisonious

    Ed lied to you outright and he knew it. Why, he is trying to direct attention away from the mayonaise. It isn't the mayo, it is the onions. If it isn'y the onions it is the potato. If it isn't the potato it must be the pickle or mustard or or or?
    Oniions contain sulphur. Sulpher was used by Doctors as an antibiotic until the 1950's. It was replaced by modern antibiotics.
    If you leave amyonaise unrefrigerated it will break down or seperate and develop a disagreeable taste. How soon, it all depends on the temperature of the area where the mayonaise sits.
    People who home can put citric acid in certains items they can to prevent spoilage.
    Vinegar as we know is put in mayonaise which will help reduce bacteria growth. Yes know that is not the main reason.
    Between 3 - 5 years ago food manufacturers and processers incresed the amount of sugar in their products. Sugar iss more addictive than alcohol, cocaine, meth, marijuan and heroin combined.
    Last week I was grocery shopping for mayonaise. Since I am diabetic and with ther recent increses of sugar in foods I check all labels for sugar content. Two different mayonaise brands listed sugar as the first ingredient.
    Does the sugar increaset the chances of bacterial growth? I don't know, but we all know sugar provides a great medium for bacteria growth.
    I have no idea of the sugar content in Mullin's Mayonaise but it is obvious that Ed is a liar.